A few years ago a businessman sat in my office and shrugged in despair as he admitted, “I inherited my dad’s terrible temper, so I can’t help it when I blow up.” That same day a middle-aged woman told me, “My mother had terrible fears, and she passed them on to me. I guess I’m stuck with this problem.”

Like both of my friends, many people live their entire lives in bondage to the habits and struggles of their ancestors. Some live in constant fear of mental illness, heart disease, and cancer because a parent or grandparent who suffered from those dreaded diseases and illnesses.

These fears and struggles are not irrational. In fact, the Bible tells us that God visits “the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations” (Exodus 20:5). According to this law of the universe, it is very possible that we may be plagued with certain problems with which our ancestors have succumbed. But there is good news! We can live by a higher law; the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! The Bible also tells us “…through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2)

If a man were to jump out of an airplane flying at 12,000 feet, according to the law of gravity, he would fall to his death. However, if he were to use a parachute, he would be subject to the higher law of aerodynamics and land safely. This same principle applies to our spiritual lives. We can live by the higher law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus!

Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ came to this earth and paved the way for us to be free from the law of bondage from our past. He went to the cross and took our place. He paid the price for our freedom. The choice is ours. Do we succumb to the problems of our ancestors, or do we choose the higher law? “Lord, grant us the grace today to live by the higher law of life in Christ Jesus. We choose freedom today in Jesus’ name!”