We often think about sin as something we do.  There is another kind of sin in our lives that has as much impact on God’s ability to bless us and our ability to serve Him as “our sin”.  It is when others have sinned against us.  It is difficult for us to fight this kind of sin because we often do not see it nor do we see its effect on our lives.

It happens when someone who has some authority in your life, (such as a parent, sibling, other relative, or a “friend”, and worse; a pastor) abuses the covenant they have with you and either says or does something to you that brings harm to you.  In my case, it was my dad; he had a particular word he would use, especially with a certain inflection that wounded me in ways I never imagined.  The word was “idiot”.  I know, some of you are thinking “sticks and stones…” but that is totally incorrect, words do hurt us – and limit who we may become.  He said it often enough, that I believed it.  As a result, I did not try very hard in school and was actually proud of my low C average in High School.  College?  What for?  I’m an idiot.  The world needs grave diggers too you know (I have nothing personal against grave diggers by the way).  It affected how I viewed God and what He thought of me, it affected how I lived my life.  Until a very good friend of ours looked me square in the eye and told me; “Bill, you are not an idiot.”  Something in how she said it, I understood that those six simple words did not originate with her – they were a message direct from God.  It broke something in my life from that very moment, and it opened new avenues of effectiveness in my service to God.

I’ve had some work to do in my life to arrest the effects of those lies in my life.  Including forgiving my father for what he said.  Every once in a while I hear that word in my life and I have to fight its influence, but that keeps getting easier and easier.  I remind you that because of God in my life, dad and I managed to fully reconcile our relationship years before he died.  I am not trying to drag his name through the mud. 

Do you sense a limitation in your life and you just do not know where it comes from?  Do you believe “this is just how I am, and nothing is going to change it?”  It is possible you are suffering from a sin committed against you (I said possible).  Pray about it and pray about having someone pray over you about it.  If you are a person who has authority over another (and who doesn’t?) thinks about this:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.  Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)