Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Killing Giants with a History - Martin Wiles

I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations. Exodus 20:5 NLT

My mom and dad both had a few characteristics I didn’t plan on carrying over into my role as a spouse and parent; sadly, I found myself facing the same giants. 

Dad was a churchaholic and workaholic. As a pastor, he devoted his life to the church first of all. My brothers and I all agree: rarely do we remember him spending time with us doing the normal things dads should do with their sons. Mom seemed to be able to find the negative side of every situation. As I witnessed these patterns, I determined I wouldn’t repeat them. 

Some giants have a family history. I’m not responsible for my ancestor’s sins, but I often suffer the consequences of them. When the Israelite army melted in fear before the giant, Goliath, they were facing a giant with a family history. Some of their dads and granddads may well have fought with his dad and granddad. Gath was one place Joshua and the Israelites failed to drive the inhabitants from when they conquered the Promised Land…and Goliath was from Gath.

I watched my granddad and dad work tirelessly, rarely taking time to enjoy life or take vacations. In spite of what I didn’t enjoy about viewing that, I find myself facing the same giant. I listened as mom found the pessimistic note in most situations; I confront the same giant. 

Giants with a family history are more difficult to slay. What I’ve determined to do is what young David did. He ran toward the giant rather than away from him—as the rest of the Israelite army did. He saw the giant through God’s perspective rather than his own. David went after his giant in the name of the Lord…not in his own strength. I’ve found when I repeat his pattern, I too can slay my giants…even the ones with a family history. I don’t need elaborate plans or expensive fixes. The sling and small stones of God’s plan will do just fine. How are you handling your family giants?

Prayer: Thank You, all-powerful God, that no giants…even the ones with a family history, are more powerful than You. Give us strength to slay them in Your name. 


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