Could it be DNA? Scripture: John 9.1-7. John #44
Key verse: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents?”
The blind man that Jesus healed that day had been blind from birth— yet the disciples’ asked if he was blind because of his sin or that of his parents? Wait! He was born blind…when and how would his sin have been counted against him? Ravi Zacharias explains that such a belief remains common in the East to this day.1 And in Jesus’ day, there were those who philosophized about the baby in the womb being capable of sin, and many others who believed that all souls existed before the creation of the world. Hmmm . . .
But the Old Testament, the only Scriptures that Jesus or the people possessed, clearly teaches of generational sin – the sins of the fathers passed from one generation to another. “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.”2 The sins of the parents do not become the sins of the children unless the children choose to sin in the same way. God wants us faithful to him, not entangled in sin of any kind that would pull us from him.
A classic example of generational sin would be alcoholism or drug addiction. A new generation is not ‘in sin’ unless they choose to wade into the water and then find themselves enslaved to that which held in bondage family members who came before them. That said, there is sometimes a predisposition toward addiction which must be taken seriously and guarded against.
What to do about it? First and foremost, be aware. Second, do not be afraid, be informed. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”3 Therefore, you are an overcomer—if you choose to be.
You may be unaware of the power of the Holy Spirit who resides in you. If you have knowledge of a pattern of sin that runs through your familial lines, take that pattern to God, ask for his cleansing power…ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God—or refilled… to be strengthened, and then walk in newness of life. Any pattern of sin in your forebears need have nothing to do with you.
You might pray a simple prayer like this for instance, “Lord God, there are temptations in my life—that if I acted on them—would take me down the same destructive path as my mom and others. Please help me to be resolute, and renew me by the power of your Spirit that I may be free, I pray!”
Sins of the fathers - you might have heard about them . . .
you might have seen them . . .
heck, they might have been done to you . . .
but those sins do not have to repeat themselves in your lives, Friends!
1 - Seeing Jesus from the East, Ravi Zacharias, Abdu Murray, p.76
2 - Deuteronomy 5.9b-10
3 - 1 John 4.4