Children making same mistakes of parent

01/29/2014 12:58 PM

01/29/2014 12:58 PM

D EAR BILLY GRAHAM: I know I made a lot of bad decisions over the years, but I always hoped my children would learn from my mistakes. Well, I’m afraid that hasn’t happened, and now my family seems to be coming apart at the seams. Why won’t they learn to do what’s right? — W.C.

DEAR W.C.:

I’ve often asked myself the same question: Why don’t we learn from the mistakes of others? And yet we seldom do. Instead, we go on making the same mistakes others have made, generation after generation. The writer of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament stated it well: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Why is this? One reason is because we always think we’ll be the exception, and what’s happened to someone else won’t happen to us. To put it another way, we think we’re smarter than they were, and we’ll be able to avoid the consequences. But this simply isn’t true. Bad decisions always, without exception, produce bad consequences.

You see, God has told us what’s right and wrong, and when we ignore him and turn our backs on his moral standards, we will pay a price. But our hearts are in rebellion against him, and even when we know better, we often fall for Satan’s lies. The Bible warns, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).

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