by Joey JohnsonRead previous articles
August 6, 2012
August 6, 2012
Perhaps the most striking aspect of this truth is the fact that sin has such far-reaching, long-term effects. Keep in mind these three familial impacts of sin:
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1. Sin always effects present devastation and bondage. The sins of the father and the mother bring fairly immediate devastation and bondage both to the perpetrators and to the victims.
2. Sin always reaches back to the past. Present sin is somehow connected to sin that has been committed in the past. It is connected in heredity or environmental influence to someone or something in the past. Sin is never a single act disconnected from the larger continuum of human sin. Whatever sinful act we commit is connected to past generations, all the way back to Adam. This whole sequence of events got started in the Garden of Eden.
3. Sin never stops with one generation. Sin always reaches forward and touches our future posterity, our children. Somehow it always impacts the generations to come.
There is an excellent Minirth/Meier book entitled Kids Who Carry Our Pain.2 The gist of it is that our children deal with and finish the pain in our lives that we didn't work through. But I would take it one step further: Kids not only carry our pain, they also carry the consequences of our sin. A lot of that pain exists as a result of the consequences of our sin.
That is easy to understand with devastating sins like abuse, alcoholism, or drug abuse. It is still true but much harder to see and understand with sins such as gluttony, selfishness, and pride.
Let me state this in terms that are easier for us to understand: Family sin leads to family mess!
When we say something is a mess, we mean that the situation is disorderly, confusing, muddled, troubling, difficult, untidy, dirty, and thus embarrassing. Disorder means a lack of normal order. This suggests the upset of the normal functions or health of something. Consequently, the word is strongly related to the concept of dysfunctionality. Therefore, family sin leads to family dysfunctionality--a family that is not functioning as it ought to function. It's a family mess!
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