Monday, February 2, 2015
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It can be pretty amusing if you listen in on conversations that revolve around a newborn baby. I'm wondering how they ever learn to talk, the way we adults talk to them. We just lean over and go, "buga, buga, buga" or something like that. And I don't know how they ever learn. But I really think it's funny when the conversation turns to, "Well, who do you think he looks like?"
How can you tell who that wrinkled little guy or girl really looks like? I never can tell. And you know what? You wouldn't necessarily want to have them look like you the way they look right there. But adults will say, "Well, you know, I think he kind of looks like his good old Dad. That's me." Or, "I think he looks like Mom or Grandma." Who does this baby look like?
As the child grows, we begin to see more and more similarities develop. He talks like a certain member of the family, walks, moves, reacts like a certain member of the family. Our kids are so much like us, and we are so much like our parents in many ways. The problem is the resemblance isn't always cute.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Family Resemblances - Avoiding the Mistakes of Your Parents."
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in 1 Peter 1; I'm in verse 18. "You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers." We're talking about hand-me-downs here. Maybe you've had clothes handed down to you, or you have heirlooms in your house that Aunt Tilley passed on and you dare not, or the kids had better not do anything to break it or damage it. Well, we're talking here about hand-me-downs in our...I guess our personality. This is saying that we get some empty ways of living handed down from parent to child, and grandchild, and so on.
There's a communication of generational weaknesses that goes from one generation to the next. The Bible says this in Exodus. It calls them "...the sins of the fathers being passed on to the third and fourth generation." I remember talking to Gary a while back, and Gary said, "My Mom's driving me crazy, Ron! I can do ten things right and one thing wrong, and all she's going to see is the one thing wrong. She is so critical." I said, "Gary, now look, I've never met your grandparents, but do you have a grandparent who's very hard to please?" He said, "Oh, my grandma! How did you know? She is so rough on my Mother." And then he looked at me for a minute and he said, "You know what? Come to think of it, I'm starting to become a negative, critical person."
What were we seeing there? Three generations of a critical spirit being passed on. Sin crosses generations because we do things the same empty way our folks did them. And family sins are sort of acceptable because we think they're just part of the personality; it sort of goes with having my name. We tend to ignore these problems and not do anything about them, and they continue to hurt new generations.
Listen to some of these family sins. Maybe one will ring a bell: The tendency to manipulate the next generation with guilt and to really make them feel crummy about themselves. Maybe that's been passed on to you or you're passing it on. The tendency to get things done by belittling other people, or to ignore problems until they explode and then you try to patch them over. Maybe you were raised with a hard-to-please person and you've become that kind of person. Or maybe you were raised around people who never complimented you, and you find it hard to give praise now yourself. Maybe they never showed you much affection and it could be that you, too, seldom touch, or hold, or express your love to the people around you. Or maybe it was a parent who always had to be right, and now you've always got to be right. I don't know what it is, but I know there's probably a family sin that is passed on in all of our personalities.
Your strategy is to identify it, call it what it is, say, "I'm not going to tolerate it any more", and in the power of Christ counter attack it. Because this verse says, "We have been redeemed by the blood of Christ from that empty way of life." If you have never begun a relationship with this Savior, this isn't just some religious deal. This is about changing things in you that only a Savior who died on the cross for your sins and walked out of His grave has the power to change.
So many people have found the power to become a new mom, a new dad, a new person, not passing on the sins of the past to other people. You can be forgiven. You can be changed by this Jesus. You say, "Ron, I don't think I have that kind of real relationship with Him." That's why we have a website ANewStory.com.
I want to invite you to meet me there and let me help you begin that relationship today - AnewStory.com. Then you'll be able to say, "That family sin stops with me! It stops now!"