Generational Sin to Generation Blessing
March 2, 2015
“You shall not bow down to [idols] or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.” –Exodus 20:5
This past fall, my younger brother Dylan started his Master’s Degree in Family and Marriage Counseling at Geneva College near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Being Dylan’s older (and I think wiser) sister, I have had the pleasure of helping him with his homework. He often looks to me to help him edit his papers and give him ideas for research topics and projects. One of his projects this month is to create a “genogram”, which essentially is a family tree that shows family relationships, medical history, and psychological factors of each individual. The purpose of a genogram is to help the user visualize hereditary, behavioral, and psychological patterns. This project has resulted in numerous phones with him sharing the knowledge that I have about our family and him interviewing other family members. It is a very interesting tool. One day during our conversation we were lead to the topic of generational sin. Generational sin is spiritual bondage and negative patterns of behaviors that have been passed down from generation to generation.
This might be an unheard of topic to discuss, but when you put a pastor and a future therapist who are siblings together, some interesting topics can result. More importantly, it seems to be a topic that is overlooked and not taken seriously. Exodus 20:5 states that God punishes the third and fourth generations of those who have hated Him. Dylan and I have been trying to determine what kind of curses that our generation is facing from our great-grandparents. We want to know what we are up against and try to determine what some of the struggles that our children and grandchildren may face some day. I believe that this knowledge and awareness may help us in the future combat the generational curses of sin in our lives but also, help aid us in raising our families. Perhaps this is an area for you to look into.
With Easter approaching I cannot help but stop and be thankful for a Savior that gave Himself up as a ransom for our sins. He took on the sins of every individual that has ever lived and that will be born in the future. On the cross, He even bore the weight of generational curses on His shoulders so that we may be free. We still may face the consequences from the sins of past generations, but Jesus has offered us great hope of triumphing over them. Jesus has provided us a way out so that we will not pass on the curse of our sins to future family members.
We also have hope that our faith and redemption can be passed onto future generations. Hebrews 11 is the perfect example of faith being passed down from generation to generation. In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul reminded his mentee, Timothy that his legacy of faith began with his grandmother and mother and was passed onto him. Regardless of the generational curses that we may face, there is always hope of overcoming them and passing on generational blessings instead. This is a quest that my brother and I are on, would you pray about starting your own?
This Easter, may we take time to reflect on the many ways that Jesus has redeemed our lives because there are more ways than one. I know Dylan and I are thankful for the faith that has been passed down to us and the redemption that we have received. Galatians 3:13-14 says, “…Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Let us share with others the amazing hope and promise that Christ has offered.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice of life so that we may have hope in overcoming generational sin and the sins that we deal with in our own lives. Thank you for wanting the best for our lives and help us strive for it. Amen.
(Amber & Dylan)
Amber J. Shearer
Camp Wyoba Administrator & ABCRM Staff