“In those days people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge.
Jeremiah 31:29,30 (NIV)
Sin has an owner. The one that commits a sin is the one responsible for that sin. The child is not responsible for the parent’s sin, and the parent is not responsible for the child’s sin. Biblical fact, yet we have a tendency to lay the responsibility for people’s sins at the feet of others. We make statements like can you believe what his son did, or its his father’s fault that he acts that way. Adults are responsible for their own sins, no one else’s. If God doesn’t hold other’s sins against us, how dare we do such a thing?
I’ve seen congregations split over the sins of an elder’s adult child. I’ve seen preachers leave the ministry because of the sins of an adult child. This should never be, but it happens. It happens because people hold parents responsible for the sins of their adult children, and blame them for their behavior. Again, if God doesn’t do this how dare we?
Sin is destructive, it brings death. Spiritual death. “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:15 (ESV) In situations where sin is blamed on the non-offender, sin is compounded by the desire for others to pass judgement on the situation. In doing this they put themselves in the place of God. Oh and what dangerous place to put ones self.
Rather than pointing fingers we should be concerned and respond in love to those that have stumbled, and lend support to the one feeling the pain of their loved ones sin. When we do otherwise we are the ones eating sour grapes, and setting our teeth on edge.
© 2014 Leo J. Woodman