Growing Past Your Past

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Sunday, January 15th

People have an immense power to shape one another in profound ways, including spiritually and emotionally. God made us that way. Growing up, our families shaped us for better or worse (actually, for both). While our family of origin may have passed along good ways of doing life, what do we do with the broken ways?

Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning!


  1. Give an example of a family tradition that you enjoyed doing when you were young. Are there any traditions that were passed down that you continue to practice?
  2. Do you recognize any behavior patterns in you that are more “nurture” (environment) than “nature” (DNA) in origin? What inherited qualities from your family environment have you chosen to keep?
  3. Read Exodus 20:5-6 In what way have you seen this truth play out for a particular consequence of an action or a decision that affected multiple generations?
  4. Read Matthew 10:37 Have you experienced any challenges or “costs” associated with coming out from under your parents’ authority and placing yourself under God’s authority?
  5. Read Hebrews 2:11 How have you observed God’s plan to create a new family through the church become a reality in your life?
  6. Describe a time when your friends or church family helped you become aware of facets of your life that were hurting you or others. What aspects of those relationships aid your healing and growth?
  7. Read Psalms 79:8 If you feel comfortable, share a pattern that was passed down to you that limits your emotional maturity, and spend time praying for both yourself and family (both biological and biblical) for freedom to grow past the past.


A genogram or family tree is a useful tool to gather information about a person’s family. This visual representation of a family can help you to identify patterns or themes within families that may be influencing your current behavior. God does not force us to live in the consequences of the sins of our parents or their parents (Psalms 79:8); we can turn from them (that’s what “repent” means) and follow His will and ways. As you identify patterns while creating your genogram, pray and tell the Lord the things you are thankful for and the patterns or generational sins or issues you turn from and reject. Commit yourself to His will and ways, and ask for His guidance to learn to live out His truth in that area. Seek out Biblical wise counsel about what is true in that area according to Scripture, so you can meditate on what God says is true when the “old patterns” try to creep back into your life.

Download the PDF for genogram instructions.