From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

My friend has twin daughters now 19 years of age. Both have been raised by the same parents with the same rules. One is respectful and responsible, the other is wild and wayward. How can this be?

— T.W.

Dear T.W.: Viktor Frankl in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” describes the reactions of two brothers with the same heredity, the same environment, in the same concentration camp under the Nazis. One became a saint and the other a swine. Frankl tells us the reason why. He said, “Each man has within him the power to choose how he will react to any given situation.” God has given us the power of choice. Some people today do not wish to accept the responsibility for their actions. They blame society. They blame circumstances. But Adam sinned in a perfect environment under perfect circumstances. We can’t blame it all on somebody else. We must accept the blame ourselves for our part.

Society is made up of individuals, each coming from different circumstances. The culture has developed a victim mentality that allows people to easily fall prey to casting blame on someone else or something else. We must get this fact firmly fixed in our minds: we live in an upside-down world. People hate when they should love, quarrel when they should be friendly, fight when they should be peaceful, wound when they should heal, steal when they should share, do wrong when they should do right.

While a good environment can be a positive influence, each person is responsible for what they ultimately believe. Each person has the freedom to look into God’s Word and read it, and believe it, for themselves. God will never lead contrary to His Word.