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September 11, 2021


Many of us make mistakes in this life because we did not know the right thing to do, which stems back to our early childhood experiences. As children, our homes became our first schoolroom, and it is here that we learned practices and traditions that we display throughout our lives. Our parents were our first role models, and being young and impressionable, we adopted whatever we saw. At that time, we weren’t able to discern that something was not good or right.

This reminds me of a story that shows how we can do something that does not fit our situation, but we do it because that is what we learned. The story is about a lady who learned how to roast a piece of meat from her mother. She did everything her mom did in the recipe, even cutting a chunk of the meat off as she placed it in the pan. One day she got curious about why her mom cut the meat, and when she inquired, her mom told her she needed to ask her great grandmother because that is what she had seen her mom do. When she finally reached her great grandmother, she told her she cut the meat because the pan she used was too small. For generations, even though their pans were big enough, the ladies were cutting off and discarding good meat simply because that is what they had seen and thought was needed to make the roast taste good. How often have we done things because we followed what we saw in the past without understanding why the action was implemented?

When I reflect on this, it reminds me of the scriptures, which speak about God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation (Exodus 20:5-6; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9). Just like our sins move from one generation to the succeeding and family illnesses can be traced in our bloodline, the same holds true for learned negative behaviors being replicated from one generation to the next.

Rather than blame my parents for my mistakes, I now understand that they were repeating what they learned from their parents. So, now that I know better, I had to apologize to my children about some harmful and even detrimental practices that I learned from my parents that I instituted in my life and my children’s life when they were growing up. Why did I do this, you may ask? Well, I am striving to follow the saying of Maya Angelou, “When you know better, you do better.” I am breaking generational curses of wrongdoing, and I am admitting errors existed in my life that surely needed to be rectified. God is helping me expose mistakes, and with His help, people are receiving this word and doing as I did, for we know better.

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