Each month I write an article for a local magazine, Up In Cumming. I enjoy sharing them with you guys, too. This month’s issue focuses on Father’s Day, which got me to thinking about families. Check it out:
Each year I read through the bible in chronological order which means I read the bible in the order that the events happened. I just finished Chronicles, including some chapters of family genealogies. You know what I’m talking about. So-and-so was the father of so-and-so. Verse after verse of so-and-so’s. It’s the type of stuff most of us usually skip over hoping to get to more enlightening reading.
But, this time I was enlightened.
Reading through the genealogies, I took note of the famous names, like Noah, Abraham, and David. These were men that God loved, men who obeyed God and earned fantastic reputations. In a way, I would expect that their family tree would be special….sort of blessed. I would expect that no black sheep would be in their families, after all, they would the elite of the elite. Yet, each one of these men had descendants who acted in honorable ways and despicable ways. As the family lines continued I saw that each generation had righteous people as well as wicked people. Apparently there’s a bad apple in every bunch.
Think about it: Judah sold his brother into slavery, yet Jesus Himself is in his family tree. David was a man after God’s own heart, but his son, Absalom, slept with David’s wives and tried to overthrow David’s kingdom. Eli was a righteous priest, but his sons were promiscuous and deceitful. The genealogies continue in various books of the Bible, occasionally pinpointing the righteousness or wickedness of specific people.
There’s a lesson buried in those so-and-so lists. It doesn’t matter who you came from or how good your family’s reputation is. The truth is every family tree has sin. We can’t ride the coattails of our Godly heritage, and neither are we limited by a disgraceful past. You see, we all make our own choices. We might bear a good name but we can choose to sully it. We might bear a sullied name but we can choose to reestablish it. I’ve seen children of godly parents walk a wayward road, and I’ve seen children of wayward parents choose more righteous path.
What will we choose to do with our lives today? Whether we’ve been given a good name or sullied one, we have the greatest power in the world – the power to choose. I’m choosing to never be limited by what came before me, whether good or bad. I’m choosing to keep my eyes on Jesus. To read scripture and live by it. I’m choosing to dust myself off when I fall and try again. I’m choosing to lay a Godly foundation for others to build on.
What about you? Don’t buy into the lie that sin must be a repeating cycle in your family tree. We can CHOOSE!