Correction, yes. Harshness, no.
As we grow and mature in our Christian walk, we are constantly privileged to interact with those who are less mature either in their walk or doctrinal understanding. God does want us to “correct” incorrect doctrine and ideas but to do it gently and with patience.
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love. —Ephesians 4:2
There are also those privileged situations when Christians are defending what we believe to non-Christians. In those cases, we’re not trying to win a debate, but rather, being willing to be used of God toward the goal of salvation. Obviously, if they are to see Jesus in control of our life, we must respond to everything gently, not harshly.
. . . make a defense to everyone who asks . . . with gentleness and reverence. —1 Peter 3:15
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. —James 3:13
I have a question regarding “generational curses.” I would like to know what you think about this issue. Do you think we need to be blaming generational curses for the things that happen to us, certain behavior in our family, etc.?
Most teaching regarding “generational curses” is based on the following scripture:
You shall not worship [other gods] or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, —Exodus 20:5
To teach that this verse explains why some “Christians” act the way they do is wrong. First, you must consider the whole thought, which becomes obvious in the very next verse:
but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. —Exodus 20:6
God is saying that the effects of disobedience (in this case, worshiping idols) last for a time but the effects of trusting His Messiah’s substitutionary death on the cross are far more extensive—to a “thousand” generations. Therefore the “effect” of sin can be broken by faith in God.
Also, Exodus is Old Testament law and we’re now under Church Age grace. Christians are free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). In Christ, all things are new and the OT Law is not in effect.
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. —2 Corinthians 5:17
Some people confuse “generational curses” with consequences of sin. For example, if a homosexual repents and trusts God, there may still be consequences of their prior activity that will affect them and/or their family in this life. Or if a woman abuses drugs while she is pregnant, even if she realizes her behavior was wrong and repents, there may be physical consequences to her and/or the baby. But that is not the context of what is being taught in Exodus 20.
For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong that he has done, and that without partiality. —Colossians 3:25
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