1. an inherited propensity toward the same sin
Some common patterns of generational sins are molestation, alcoholism, divorce, financial and business failures, premature deaths, and occult involvement among many others. When talking about inherited traits, more often we talk about traits like facial features, character traits, temperament traits, diseases, and gifts and talents, but did you know that some of the sins you are struggling with have been inherited through your family line? And some of the painful struggles you deal with have been in your family for generations?
As mere humans, we are unable to pardon, but we can at least forgive. Sometimes when we struggle to forgive others, we must remember that it does not compare to the magnitude of God's forgiveness. Even so, God commends us to follow His example and forgive. When we are trying to forgive we can remember that because Jesus paid the price on the Cross, God has uprooted the seed of evil in us and given us a new nature. God forgives us of all our iniquities.
For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children of the third and fourth generations.
“How is this possible,” you might say. “I thought that when I gave my life to Christ all things became new and all of that was taken care of?” God is a God of justice and is true to His word. So even though you give yourself to Him, if there is sin in your family that has never been brought to Him for forgiveness through repentance, and if three generations pass without anyone repenting of that sin, He will have to visit the issue.
When there is no repentance for a sin for generations, the scales are unbalanced, the weight of the sin becomes heavier, and justice is demanded. Because of justice, God visits the sin and this begins to create a pattern of struggle with the same problem until someone repents to God. Once repentance happens, the work that Jesus did on the cross pays for that sin and justice is served.
Steps to forgiveness of generational sin:
As you look into your life and notice sinful propensities in your family
ask God for forgiveness
be aware that at times our prayers can be self-righteous in a way that we judge our family members as being sinful while forgetting that we are doing the same things as they did
identify with your family members in humility
repent as though you committed that sin
God’s forgiveness is able to cover deep rooted issues that we sometimes would never even comprehend. His forgiveness is powerful. It's enough to reach our past and is enough for our future.
Damalie Namale, M.A.