Living in Fear of Bad Blood

Living in Fear of Bad Blood - generational sin

I love to hear stories of generations past. Family reunions and holiday dinners give us an opportunity to meander down memory lane. Courageous war veterans, brave law enforcement officers, and strong women who beat the odds grace the pages of my family’s history books. Perhaps you have an album full of treasured photographs of family heroes and legends, the kind of people who shape history and give you a solid foundation.

Then there are the black sheep. The ones we don’t like to talk about as we pass the gravy. We all have a little bad blood in us. It haunts us, doesn’t it? From the days in The Garden, the sinful choices of mankind pass from one generation to the next. These stories from our ancestors are whispered in our ears and can cause us to fear our own destiny. If we are not careful, we can allow the stories of our people define who we are.

Instead of walking confidently in our identity in Christ, we walk in fear of who we could become because of who we come from.

Like most family trees, stories of shameful transgressions sit in my branches like black crows. For most of my life, I drug my fear of generational sin around like the proverbial ball and chain. The wrongs in my family’s history led to all sorts of inner struggles and relational battles. Fear of who I could become fed unwarranted judgments and insecurities. The pursuit of perfection became my weapon against the bad blood. I walked a straight line as if trying not to fall from the branches of my crooked family tree.

Living in Fear of Bad Blood - generational sin

When Jesus met Nicodemus under the cover of night, he shared a foundational element of our faith. “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, ESV). Born again. The evangelical community throws this term around as if we all understand what it means. Nicodemus didn’t get it either. “Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (John 3:4, ESV). After thirty years of walking with Jesus, I’m just now getting it.

The moment we believe in the name of Jesus, we undergo a spiritual blood transfusion. The perfect blood of Jesus Christ replaces Adam’s bad blood. Though we are always our mother’s child, our eternal heritage is secure as children of God. We are no longer a crooked branch in a crooked family tree; the Father grafts us into a new family tree–the family of God.

We are no longer a crooked branch in a crooked family tree. #bornagain Click To Tweet

Jesus talks about this righteous family tree with his disciples: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, ESV). Abiding in this new family tree means releasing the fear brought on by generational sins. We can lay aside the destructive and self-protective behaviors and, instead, produce the fruit of the Spirit.

We no longer need to fear the blood flowing in our veins for it is the precious blood of Christ. The chains of our family’s past can’t hold us. It is time to know freedom from the fear of what we could become. We are connected securely to The Vine, a branch on a heavenly family tree.


Photo credit: Cheryl Winn-Boujnida and Frantzou Fleurine via Unsplash.


  1. John 15:5 is a verse that I have been meditating on for several years. It is my prayer that I will enter in to the reality of abiding in Christ more and more. There is such freedom in embracing this truth… “for apart from me you can do nothing.” That thought used to fill me with fear because some part of me believed that I was responsible for saving myself, whether from generational sins or my own. Thanks for sharing this powerful truth!

    • We can only find completion in Christ. I tend toward self-sufficiency, which is why generational sin felt so burdensome. I knew what I was capable of (in the negative sense) because of the stories from my family’s record books. You help me separate my ability, which is always lacking, from Christ completeness.

  2. “Instead of walking confidently in our identity in Christ, we walk in fear of who we could become because of who we come from.”

    We don’t realize that when we do this, we actually have more faith in what Adam did than what Jesus did. I don’t believe any of us do this purposefully. I believe it is an underlying belief system, but God is faithful to “renew our minds.”

    Thank you for sharing this! I need to be reminded of this frequently!

  3. Kelly … praise God for the freedom He gives from all that past junk … whether or own or that of our ancestors. Don’t you just love that we’re not defined by our sin but by our Savior?

    So very good to chat back and forth this morning!

  4. Wow! Kelly, this is so good! Your words are so powerful and true! Thank you so much for sharing, Love! GOD bless you! 🙂

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