Christian Living


Overcoming Addictions 10/06/17

The Yuck Stops Here!


“That’s just the way I was brought up.”
“I can’t help it.”
“I’m not hurting anyone.”

What do these three statements have in common? Excuses! Better yet, they are LIES we believe and hang onto to defend our dysfunctional behavior. They are LIES we tell others and ourselves when we accept defeat in our lives.

Addictions and other emotionally harmful behaviors come bundled with lies. We can even twist God’s Word to believe a lie. My grandfather was an alcoholic, my mother a narcotics addict, and I was third generation alcoholic and pot addict. When I truly surrendered my life to the lordship of Jesus Christ in 1997 and began to go through the hard work with Christ to rid my life of addictions, I struggled with this scripture:

"I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected — even children in the third and fourth generations." Exodus 34:7 NLT

When I came upon that verse, I assumed I was doomed - a generational curse - that the sin of drunkenness was handed down as a penalty for my bloodline and even God had declared I was destined to a lifetime of bondage to addiction. 

What a LIE! My misguided attempt to understand God’s Word landed me in a minefield of generational Yuck.

My hereditary line had modeled how to handle life – escape the pain. When emotional pain came, I wanted to numb it. And my spiritual immaturity allowed me to believe that even God wasn’t going to cleanse me of this cycle of shame. When the going got tough, I'd get going to the liquor cabinet. I accepted my fate of addicted. But really what I did was found another excuse to keep on using. 

From the discussions I've witnessed in recovery meetings, there are many people who can't envision life without addiction or some unwelcome hand-me-down behavior. We believe it's just part of who we are. We see the so-called normal families and can't imagine we would even know what to do with a lifestyle free from our familiar and unwelcome behavior. We accept the yuck that's been in our family line as if it were a genetic feature.

However, we need to wake up to who we are in Christ and understand that He's our family lineage. We have inherited love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23).

When I read the same scripture now, it is clear to me that it doesn’t describe a destiny of yuck. “I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.” These are words of love, forgiveness, and grace. When He speaks of a thousand generations, that includes us, our ancestors, and our descendants. We're under a generational blessing, along with all children of the Living God.

If we have indeed surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted His death on the cross as the payment for all our sins and His resurrection as proof that He conquered death and sin for us, then we are to walk in the newness of this Christian life.

Thankfully, God does not ever leave us or forsake us! And now I know where that twisted interpretation of scripture originated – from the enemy of our souls, Satan. He’s been playing with our minds over “What did God really say?” since the days of Adam and Eve.

My deceived interpretation of “… the entire family is affected – even children in the third and fourth generations,” somehow had manifested into way beyond affected. I believed it meant a lifetime of bondage. What a lie! Affected, yes – hopeless, no!

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Whether it's society or heredity that's brought you into a life filled with yuck (dysfunction, addiction, cold-heartedness, sexual immorality, depression, cynicism, etc.), it can stop with you through Jesus — don't pass it down and don't let it claim the rest of your life. 

Through the mighty power of our Lord, Jesus Christ, please join me in proclaiming, “The Yuck Stops Here!”

Copyright © 2011 Beth Livingston. Used by permission.

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