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Was It Passed Down?
By Joel Osteen - Feb 16, 2024

Some of the things we struggle with didn’t start with us. They were passed down from those who went before us. We may wonder, “Why am I stuck in lack? Why am I drawn to this bad habit? Why can’t I control my temper? Why can’t I trust anyone?” That can be negative baggage in your family line. Studies show how depression, addictions, anger, and low self-esteem can be passed down. I talked with a woman who found freedom from an alcohol addiction after seventeen years. She came from a family of alcoholics. As far back as she could see in her family line, there was this addiction. That is a spirit being passed down.

I’m not saying to blame everything on the past, but you may have some generational weaknesses that were passed down to you—depression, addictions, divorce, poverty. This was something you inherited. You didn’t choose to be raised in that difficult environment, to be looked down on, or to carry the weight of what was passed down—the guilt, the shame, the anxiety, the insecurity. But you have to deal with the consequences of it, and you may not be able to break the generational baggage on your own. You’ve tried, but your willpower is not enough. You weren’t strong enough to defeat it by yourself. The good news is that God is a God of justice. One reason Jesus came was to take off you what was unfairly put on you. What you tried and couldn’t overcome, He’s going to cause you to overcome.

This is what God said to the prophet Ezekiel: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb: ‘The fathers ate the sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb” (Ezekiel 18:2–3). The people believed that because the father had problems, the children would as well. Because the parents had addictions or the grandparents were depressed and lived with lack, the children were going to struggle with the same things. They just accepted that it would be passed down. Then God showed up and said, “As long as I live, you are not bound by what’s been passed down to you.” People in your family line may have eaten the sour grapes, put you at a disadvantage and passed along hardships that you didn’t choose, but God is about to remove what’s holding you back.

When Jesus declared, “It is finished,” on the cross, that included any generational baggage you inherited. Chains are breaking. Strongholds are coming down. God is putting an end to it, once and for all. There’s about to be generational breakthroughs, generational blessings, generational freedom, generational abundance, generational joy—not just for you, but for your children, for your grandchildren. Rise up and say, “Today it ends.”

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