A generational sin, iniquity or curse is something that has been passed down the family tree. It could have started many generations ago and you may not even realize where it has come from. It is something that started out as a simple sin, if there is ever such a thing as a simple sin. This sin was repeated again and again, eventually becoming a habit, a lifestyle. This lifestyle was passed on to the next generation and the next, perpetuating the sin. With each generation the sin gets stronger and stronger, the chains get heavier and heavier.
‘You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.’ (Exodus 20:5 NLT)
God forbids bowing down and worshipping any idol. An idol doesn’t have to be another God, it someone or something you place all you focus on; something you give your very best to; something that consumes you. It could be your children, your husband, your job, your addiction anything that is the center of your world. God tells us to put Him first and all the rest later. When we don’t do that we are sinning and are in danger of passing that on to our children – they get to pay for our sins and so do their children and so on. Remember that it isn’t just the third or fourth generation from us, but as our children sin the cycle begins again. This a cycle that can be broken, when you own the sin and seek forgiveness. Whether that sin is yours or a long dead relative you need to own it and seek to reconcile yourself back to God.
Examples of generational sins can be sexual sin, divorce, violence, stealing, corruption, depression, heart disease, cancer, health issues, suicide, anger, poverty, addiction, racism, or any negative behavior that can be coming down your family tree.
A New Tomorrow
With our salvation comes forgiveness, redemption. We are saved from our sins and the iniquities’ of our family.
“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 NLT)
This forgiveness is free to anyone, but we must own that forgiveness.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
If we are reborn, made into a new creation why do so many of us struggle with the same things over and over? Why do we struggle at all? The answer to those questions is the devil. Our fight isn’t fought on this plain, but on a spiritual battle field. This is where the devil and his minions attack us. Telling us lies and keeping us from believing the truth.
When a sin becomes an iniquity it is up to us to claim our right to forgiveness. Unfortunately just because we break the cycle of sin, doesn’t mean that this is the end to it. The area of our life that was affected by the curse is now going to be a weakness for us and our children. The devil knows this and will continue to tempt us in that area. Our faith in God, our willingness to please Him and our dependence on Him and the Holy Spirit will see us through.
We will always have a struggle in this area. More importantly the devil will tempt our children in this area as well. We need to make sure we are aware of this and see to it that we teach our children accordingly. It is our responsibility to lay the foundations necessary to fortify our children. We need to give them the tools needed to recognize the temptations and say “NO!” to them. We need to pray for their protection, show them how to get into God’s word. Show them the joy of serving our great God. Most importantly show them by living a faith based life. We need to surround them with positive influence, shielding them of the devil’s subtle temptations. The devil uses the world to tell his lies and our children are vulnerable to the world and the peer pressures placed upon them.
We can’t make their decisions for them. We can only pray that we have given them enough knowledge to make the choice to follow God’s word. Our children will have to make that choice because of God’s gift of freewill. If they do make a wrong choice we need to continue to love them through it and to pray that their eyes will be open to the sin they are committing. Remember we can only be responsible for our own lives not the lives of our adult children.
Iniquity - a violation of right or duty; wicked act; sin.
Sin - any act regarded as such a transgression, esp. a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle
Transgression - an act of transgressing; violation of a law, command, etc.; sin.
Curse - an evil that has been invoked upon one.