When going through old family photos, my cousins and I joke about which physical characteristics we’ve inherited. We notice primarily the negative ones: short legs, crooked teeth, unruly cowlicks. All of us can easily identify in our ancestors our own least favorite body part. In addition to physical attributes, we also inherited character traits—some good, some not so good. But we don’t always pay as much attention to those.

According to my unscientific observations, people try all kinds of methods to overcome physical imperfections—exercise routines, weight-loss programs, makeup, hair coloring, cosmetic surgery. But instead of trying to overcome our character flaws, we tend to use them as an excuse for behaving badly. I suppose this is because changing our looks is easier than changing our character. But imagine how much better off we’d be if we put our energy into character development.

As God’s children, we’re not limited by our genetic makeup. We can surrender our flaws to Him and allow Him to fulfill the potential He had in mind when He created us as unique expressions of His love. The power of God’s Spirit and the life of God’s Son are at work in us, conforming us to His image (2 Cor. 3:18).