Jeremiah 32: 15 (NIV) For this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’16 “After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD:17 “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. 18 You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the parents’ sins into the laps of their children after them. Great and mighty God, whose name is the LORD Almighty.
So often when we deal with difficult people, it’s easy to form judgments about them based on their behavior or attitudes. But have you ever stopped to wonder what has made that person so disagreeable or difficult? When the Bible says God “repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children” (v. 18), it is speaking about generational cycles of sin. Unless someone in the family line makes a deliberate choice to change, sinful and dysfunctional behavior will be passed from parent to child for many generations. Do you see any patterns or traits in your family?
This is really just a confirmation of the principle of sowing and reaping. We pass down standards for conduct and character traits that we received from our parents. If we are unwilling to change our sinful habits and attitudes, they will very likely find their way into our children’s lives. Hopefully you realize it’s time to break and stop some negative patterns in your family line, I know I do!
What is true for sin is also true for wounding. When a child is emotionally bruised in the home, his behavior and character may be negatively affected. With this in mind, think about a difficult person that you know. What hurts do you think shaped his or her life? A heart of compassion originates from a willingness to empathize with those who have been wounded. This doesn’t excuse someone’s sin, but it does aid in opening our hearts toward the individual. Today’s message is for you and your family, children, grandchildren, and those in intimate proximity to your life!
Point to ponder- What about you? Have childhood wounds contributed to who you are today? How have they affected your life? If you haven’t dealt with them, you’ll probably pass similar hurts down to your children. But with God’s help, you can break this cycle and begin a new one that will benefit future generations.
Pastor James Baker, Jr.