In contemporary Christianity there is a tendency to blame sin and human difficulties like abuse and/or addictions on some sort of generational curse imposed by God. This is not a biblical truth, once broken down, you will see how Jesus Christ has provided a way out. In the Old Testament, God’s punishment on future generations was a part of the Mosaic Law. The generational curse was a consequence of Israel’s specific sin of idolatry. The Old Testament contains the record of this in the book of Judges. The remedy for a generational curse has consistently been repentance. When Israel turned away from their sin of idolatry the “curse” was broken (Judges 3:9, 15; 1 Samuel 12:10-11). So the real question is how does a “generational curse” apply to believers today?
The answer is simple, God is not cursing families, but rather we are suffering the consequences of sin that are perpetuated by behavioral and genetic shaping with no repentance. An addict may be genetically predisposed to addiction through a passed down gene that inhibits the person’s ability to stop or moderate a substance or activity, but he or she is not being cursed by God. Our families may pass down a sinful behavioral trait through modeling years of dysfunction, but God is not delivering punishment. If a man were addicted to running across a busy intersection and got hit by a car would he be cursed by God or would this be the consequence of risky behavior?
A family with a long history of being incarcerated would desensitize the following generations through overexposure to the shock of the consequences. This serves to reinforce the notion that it is normal to be incarcerated. In this case a curse would be imposed by the prior generations, not God. The point is, we are responsible for our own decisions and actions. Displacing the blame on to our forefathers will not relieve the problem.
The good news is, Jesus Christ has provided a way out of all of this. The answer is always salvation through giving your life to Jesus Christ. A Christian in todays age is blessed to be a new creation in Christ, (2 Corinthians 5:17). The solution for a “generational curse” is repentance of the specific sin, faith in Christ and a life set apart for the Lord, (Romans 12:1-2). The next time you hear about “generational curses”, you can smile with joyful confidence, for the Lord has overcome sin and death at the Cross so we don’t have to! Rest in this fact and share with others the way out of any problem in Jesus name.