I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; choose life that both you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19
Our church outgrew its building this year to the point of shortening the stage to add seats, putting folding chairs in every corner, and actually having people leave and return for the second service in hopes they’d find a place to sit.
In just a few weeks, we raised $600,000 of the million we need. At the congregational meeting on June 6th, one of the elders/ushers took the microphone and said, “Bob and I used to have a pie job seating people on Sunday mornings, but no more. So, if you don’t give for any other reason, give for me and Bob.”
Laughter echoed throughout. John and I gave extra that evening because we love God and we also love our ushers … so we did it for Bob and Randy too.
This story makes me think, If you don’t do it for yourself, at least do it for your children and their children and their children.
Sometimes I’m not in the mood to do the next right thing, to choose the blessing. I’d rather be lazy, maybe even downright destructive – eat unhealthy food, skip writing, and talk negative. I dwell on the past rather than a project. I get on social media instead of getting to work.
Anytime I made bad choices, I reasoned I was only hurting myself. That’s how generational curses keep on – it’s my life and I’ll live how I want to live.
We eat and drink and spend as much as we want, which keeps addiction going. We sleep off our anger and anxiety that eventually turns into physical illness. If things get bad enough, we give into mental illness and go crazy.
From the article “How Generational Curses Affect My Love Life” by Madeline Adams, she quotes The Gospel Coalition, “a generational curse describes the cumulative effect on a person of things that their ancestors did, believed, or practiced in the past, and a consequence of an ancestor’s actions, beliefs, and sins being passed down.”
Ancestors include us. We are them. We’re passing down depression, cancer, heart disease, divorce, poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, and obesity … or not.
Generational blessings work the same as curses. We pass down family curses. We release family blessings.
There is no “try hard.” We obey God or we don’t. We choose the blessing or we choose the curse. At our last church, we “kind of” tithed, which was still stealing from God because He says give 10 percent.
I tried to justify our lack of giving every way I could – we were giving more than we ever had; we needed to save for retirement; we were business owners working in an unstable economy. I never could settle down about our finances until I really tithed.
Giving money doesn’t mean I’ll get money, but it does mean that I (and my children and their children and their children) receive God’s blessing. It’s freeing, too, to lay down at night and know my heart is okay because my checkbook is okay. I always heard, “If you want to know who or what has your heart, look at your checkbook” … blah, blah, blah. I heard it and heard it and heart it ’cause it’s true.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34
I can’t pray hard enough or work hard enough or try hard enough to bring my family a blessing or protect them from curses. I have to actually choose the blessing myself. That’s how I pass it along and how you pass it along and how they pass it along to their families. It’s a generational thing that begins with us – a legacy we leave for a very long time and with the people we care about the most.
So, if we don’t do it for ourselves, at least choose the blessing for our children and their children and their children.
Listen here to The Blessing by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes @ Elevation Worship.
In This Together,
(Today’s my last day of writing for this week. See you next Wednesday when I’m back in town and blogging again.)
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.