We may not always have the best example of how to live our lives but we always have the free-will to choose for ourselves.
Reference: v. 4a Do not be like your forefathers, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.' (NIV Bible)
Explore: There is often the question whether your actions have a lasting affect on your children. Having done some developmental psychology, led children's ministry for eight years and comparing my own actions to my parents, I can see that parent's actions do have a huge impact on their children. However, there is also a point when someone's child makes decisions for themselves. It doesn't matter whether the child is 5 or 55, they are capable of making decisions from their own judgment, whether right or wrong!
Application: It is often easier to blame someone else for our poor choices rather than taking full responsibility ourselves. While Lord was not happy with His children and so He sent Zechariah to tell them to start making good choices, no matter what their forefathers had chosen.
It is the same for us. While our parents actions do have an impact on us, we were all given free-will, therefore the choice to make our own decisions. If we decide to do the same as our parents, then that is the choice we have made. However if we want to choose a different path, then we are also capable of doing so. It's sometimes hard to imagine that our parents may not have always made the correct choices. However, when it comes to eternal choices, we need to look to our Father in Heaven, rather than our parents here on earth.
Prayer: Lord, you are the most wise God. You love us and care for us, but like all good parents you allow us to make our own decisions. I pray that I may make decisions worthy of You today. Amen.
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.