True ancestry and heredity

Recognizing your origin in God opens the way to greater freedom—and healing.

At a recent club meeting, a guest speaker lectured on genealogy. I was amazed to learn how many people are interested in this subject. At our new local library, for example, a large portion of the building is devoted to genealogical research. I've found that many of my friends are researching their ancestry; some have even written books about it.

What inspires people in this quest? Some delve into their lineage because it's intriguing and surprising, like a mystery story. Others seem to be searching for something deeper. In Your Family History, author Allan Lichtman presents this view: "Psychologists in clinical practice have suggested that the person who understands the patterns of thinking and feeling that emerge over generations of family history is likely to function better as a secure, responsible, self-directed person."

And yet so often the quest for one's roots is not satisfying. Some African-Americans feel deprived of their heritage because of the lack of written records in Africa. Others reach a dead end in their research and feel at a loss. In searching my own heritage, I made a trip to the other side of the globe and found myself walking up and down countless flights of narrow steps. These large steps were now concave after generations of use by my ancestors. My adventure culminated in standing in front of my forefathers' home. My eyes filled with tears as I realized that generations of my family had been born and raised here; and yet at that very moment I suddenly felt the emptiness of the promise of human genealogy. My heart flooded with gratitude for the knowledge that I am the child of God, and that this is my real heritage.

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Simple truth—effective healing
June 21, 1993

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