A frown developed as I watched a television news program. The discussion focused on a recent study that concludes humans are "hard wired" to commit adultery.
But that frown dissolved as I remembered the Bible's assurance of each individual's sinless, God-given nature.
When it comes to questions about sexuality, the Bible has always struck me as a resource full of insight. For me, this book frankly acknowledges the full range of difficult issues surrounding sex. It keeps drawing us forward to a deeper, fuller, even more authentic sense of who we are - more spiritual than sexual beings.
Not that the Bible raises and then sidesteps the difficult issues. They're described at one point as a conflict between pure and impure feelings: "The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should" (Gal. 5:17, Contemporary English Version).
Probably few people entirely escape being touched by that battle. But the Bible inspires us to see that being hard wired biologically is far too superficial a view of who we really are.
There is something about all of us that naturally wants to relate to others. Despite society's focus on physical attraction, this "something" deep within us yearns to love others, and be loved by others. Such a feeling, in its natural and pure form, is a powerful spiritual affection. It's a divine impulsion.
I look at Jesus' life and the love he expressed toward children, toward women, toward men. It came in many forms. Compassion, kindness, forbearance, nurturing, thoughtfulness, respect, caring, patience, forgiveness, correction, tenderness. The list is long. But the way he expressed the ultimate significance of love points us clearly to spirituality instead of biology.
As society gains ground in its struggle to place greater accent on the spiritual, it's likely this will lead to more satisfying answers regarding those thorny and often divisive issues on the biology side.
Jesus' example was to relate his own life increasingly to God. That enabled him to relate his life most successfully to his fellow humans. That's not a bad example for those today who wrestle with questions of sexuality.
Prayerfully affirm that your life is related more to God, divine Love, than to DNA. That opens the door to recognizing thoughtful and enduring solutions in how we relate to others. The more we see ourselves and others as spiritual, the less we'll be puzzled by, react to, be afraid of, or be doubtful about society's effort to sort its way through perplexing aspects of sexuality.
The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, included a chapter on "Marriage" in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." I've found it a marvelous discussion of the kind of harmony and progressive relationships that can evolve when we begin discovering more of our spiritual nature.
In fact, the author describes our actual being as derived from Spirit, God, instead of the dust that made the allegorical Adam.
Does that mean she considered our present sense of human gender irrelevant? Not at all. She wrote very practically, for example, "Marriage is the legal and moral provision for generation among human kind" (page 56). Yet this chapter on marriage provides a glimpse of what it means to relate to others with the deepest spiritual unity.
Some challenges may seem stubborn. But answers emerge when we have the courage to acknowledge that we are spiritual, the beloved children of God, the actual image and likeness of Spirit.
When our lives are premised on the view that we are fundamentally hard wired to biology instead of spirituality, there will be more confusion, more divisiveness, less progress Spiritward.
Perhaps you've wrestled with some of these issues. If so, increasing peace can come by beginning each day with a prayer that sees yourself and others less from a sexual perspective and more from a spiritual point of view. Think of those qualities Jesus expressed. After all, that's the way God sees you.