- What is sin? Sin is more than just unwise behavior that produces sorrow and distress. It is rebellion against God. It is the breaking of god’s law and instruction through disobedience.
- What is a curse? A curse is the penalty to be paid for the breaking of a law. The biblical meaning is the consequence that will occur because of disobedience and rebellion against God’s laws.
- What is a pattern? A pattern is a sequence of evidences of behaviors that is repeated.
- What is a generational sin, curse or a generational pattern? Generational sins, curses and patterns are attitudes, actions, beliefs, behaviors, and/or habits that we have inherited from our family or relatives. We then “enter into” the same sin pattern and make it our own. It is usually repeated throughout our life as well as by individuals in successive generations.
Let’s look at what the Bible says about curses.
Deuteronomy 5:9b-10 states, “I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. But I lavish love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations.” (NLT)
How it works. When a person has sinned, that sin stands in need of being confessed. If the person doesn’t confess it, then his children must confess it in order to break the generational pattern. Like an “outstanding” debt, the person’s sin “hangs out there,” impacting his descendants, until it is addressed through confession and cleared away. We are not required to take responsibility for our ancestors’ sins, but we are to acknowledge and confess their sin. (We agree with God that they were wrong and that God was right.) God asks us to accept responsibility for our own sin and to repent and be humbled. Understand that the passing down of iniquity (sin) is just that – the passing down of iniquity (sin). My parents’ sin does not become my sin, until I have made the choice to sin myself in the same way.
For example, if my parents are alcoholics, it is not a sin in my life until I make the choice to begin drinking and become an alcoholic myself. The Generational Sin and Curse Pattern just means that I have a tendency to become an alcoholic, to sin in the very same way that they have sinned. It is the same with manipulation, fear, control anger, abuses, etc. There is a spiritual pressure for me to commit the same kind of sins as my ancestors, as the curse from their sins pressures me in that direction.
A scriptural example can be found in Nehemiah 1:4-11. Nehemiah receives word that Jerusalem is again in shambles both physically and spiritually. This burdens his heart greatly and he weeps for many days. In verse 6, Nehemiah cried out, “I confess the sin that we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you.” He is then granted permission to return to his homeland on a mission of restoration.
You are given a chance to stand before God and say, “These things in my life and in the lives of my ancestors are sinful and destructive. Please forgive us. Lord, I want it to stop right here, with me.” Confession isn’t’ about casting blame; it’s about starting and acknowledging the facts.
The Bible makes it very clear that we have the power to either choose curses or blessing. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “Today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse. You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. You will receive a curse if you reject the commands of the Lord your god and turn from His way by worshiping foreign gods.”