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<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/T_KKrdK1cJY?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}Yale University’s Baby Lab was featured on a recent Anderson Cooper 360 program and my great-nephew, Lyle, was one of their case studies.  I watched the show because I wanted to see my niece and her baby – but I’m writing this blog because of what the show discovered that I thought was fascinating.  (By the way…my great-nephew is the adorable baby in the solid red T-shirt.)

The Bible begins by telling us that God created us in his image (Genesis 1:27).  Theologians have long debated the actual meaning of that verse.  Do we look like God physically or is it about our actions?  The best answer I know to that question is “Can I give you Jim’s phone number?”.

Here is what we know about what we cannot know:

  • The first thing God does in Scripture is create, and human beings have the ability to create as well.  Think about cars, airplanes, computers…and even a light bulb.  The difference is, we create using what has already been created by God.
  • Second, we were made to have relationships with other people.  God wants a relationship with every person that has ever been born.  
  • Third, we are intelligent people who have the ability to choose.  We can be held accountable for our choices because we have been given the ability to know right from wrong.

That was the purpose of the study at the Yale Baby Lab.  They wanted to study how human beings are “wired” to think and behave.   There are several videos on the different aspects of their study and I thought they were very interesting.

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<iframe style=”float: right; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”http://www.cnn.com/video/api/embed.html#/video/living/2014/02/14/ac-pkg-cooper-baby-lab-part-2.cnn” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}The first segment asked the question: “What are babies really thinking?”  Besides the fact that my great-nephew was featured during this video, I found several things I thought were fascinating.

The mothers quietly held their children, who ranged in ages, on their laps.  The babies watched puppets do different things in front of them.  One puppet was kind and helpful, the other puppet was unkind and didn’t help.  The puppets were then presented to the babies and 90% of the 3-month old babies focused their eyes on the kind puppet.  80% of the older babies reached for the kind puppet.  

The Baby Lab did several studies and reported their findings.  I thought this statement from a different segment was particularly interesting:

“Moral beliefs are enhanced by culture and family but not created by them.”

My first thought after hearing that statement was Genesis 1:27.  “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”   There is something miraculous about holding a tiny baby and sensing the purity of a newborn.  They want to be loved, fed and cared for – and that is their entire world.  

Galatians 5:17 describes why we struggle to remain the pure people God created us to be.  The verse says, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.  They are in conflict with each other.”  God is spiritual and so are we, but our earthly lives become a battle between our flesh and our spirit.  

John Wesley said, “Worst of all my foes, I fear the enemy within.”  John Stott said, “Our old nature is no more extinct than the devil; but God’s will is that the dominion of both should be broken.”

God made us to reach out for what is good.  Too soon, we begin reaching for other things as well.  That is what the Yale University Baby Lab study revealed to me.  We want what is good – but we want what is bad for us as well.  The goal of life is to remember what God created us to be and to have.

We should want what those tiny babies want.  We should want to be loved, and to love.  We are created in God’s image and 1 John 4:8 says that “God is love.”  When we love as God loves, we are living as God would live.  We should want to be fed and cared for, and we should want to feed and care for others.  When we live with God’s priorities, we live as God created us to live – in his image.

It was an interesting study and you can see all the videos on the Anderson Cooper 360 website.  The videos are a little window into the human nature we were all born with, and the God nature we were all created with.  

Billy Graham said, “God has given us two hands – one for receiving and the other for giving.”  We really were created in God’s image!

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