How the word “genius” relates to how we’ve changed our notion of merit
In Roman Mythology, the word “genius” did not describe one’s innate characteristics, but a single supernatural being that would follow a person around for their entire lives — similar to our modern concept of guardian angels. This was a concept that dated back to the ancient Greeks, and is a far cry from how we perceive intelligence today.
Most people consider hard work and accomplishments as a product of one’s merit — their works. But why are things such as intelligence and talent respected so much even though they are considered to be innate, yet external gifts (such as a loving family, a comfortable home, etc.) are not looked upon with the same reverence? Should we rethink little respect we have for external traits? Or maybe we should stop having so much reverence for innate traits?
So yes, you have free will. But that does not mean that God isn’t also responsible for many of the good decisions you have made, as it is written in John 6:44 — “No one can come to me unless that Father who sent me draw him…”
But that also means you should not be too hard on yourself or anyone else for the bad decisions that we all make.
We are saved by grace and not by works, so that no one can boast.