Psychologists have long argued over the topic of "Nature vs. Nurture," what makes a person who he is. Which makes a bigger impact, the inborn traits inherited from parents and ancestors (Nature) or how he was raised and the environment he was exposed to at an early age (Nurture)? One of their favorite tests is to study the personalities of identical twins who, for whatever reason, were separated at birth and raised in completely different environments. Both have the same genetic inheritance from their parents, so how did the different types of child rearing philosophies, economic strata, and/or geographical locations affect who these people became? It is an interesting debate and I have my personal theories, but what is truly intriguing is that God weighs in on the matter.
God's attitude seems to be that the whole question is moot. Regardless of what you have inherited or what you've been through, you had better live righteously, or else.
Let's take the "Nature" side of the argument first. What if I were to say to God, "I've inherited these tendencies; it's in my DNA; I can't help myself?" What would God's reaction be?
Interestingly, someone did say something like this to God. Ezekiel 33:10 "And thou, son of man, say unto the house of Israel, "Thus ye speak, saying 'Our transgressions and sins are upon us, and we pine away in them; how then can we live?'" They believe they are swallowed up in their sins and can't change. "How then can we live" speaks to their mindset, as does "we pine away in them". They know they are sinning, they know the consequences, yet they feel that they just can't change. "This is just who I am!"
God’s response is “Turn from your evil ways. O why will you die?” His attitude toward this seems to be, "Well, I don't like how you are, so change." Apparently, he doesn't think that DNA controls our every action. Remember, he knows more about DNA than any scientist. After all, he created it. Apparently, he expects us to learn to control the tendencies that our DNA has programmed into us. (Rom 7)
"But my Daddy was a bad man and he trained me to believe in and do bad things. It's not my fault, it's just how I was raised!"
Ezekiel 18 answers this with the hypothetical story of three generations: a righteous man who has a wicked son who in turn has a righteous son. The two who are righteous aren't punished for the wicked, the wicked isn't saved by the righteous, and the son of the wicked doesn't get a free pass because he was raised in a bad environment. He is judged the same as the others, based on how he lived his life. The circumstances don't seem to matter. How we live our lives is what matters. Our Lord said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." He didn't discuss the type of tree and whether this strain generally yields as well as that strain. Neither does he discuss the type of soil the tree is planted in, nor whether it has rained recently, nor the amount of sun the tree has received. All he mentions is the fruit borne by the tree.
As Christians, we must hold OURSELVES responsible for our sins. While there may be a lot of circumstances and pressures and other reasons that led to our sin, we need to realize that, bottom line, we've sinned. God isn't happy with us. We need to change. No one is saying it will be easy. Change never is and some of us have a lot more obstacles to overcome in our efforts to change than others of us do. Still, we need to realize that our sins are OUR FAULT, not Dad's fault or circumstances’ fault, or society’s fault, or anything else's fault except ours, and "man up" (1 Cor 16:13).
If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. For ye died and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory. Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things sake comes the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience; wherein ye also once walked, when ye lived in these things: but now do ye also put them all away: wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth: lie not one to another seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings and have put on the new man, that being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him, Col 3:1-10.