"The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them." Ezekiel 18:20
"No man is an island, entire to itself," the poet John Donne wrote, "Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." That's certainly true. No person lives untouched by others. In large part we are shaped by family and friends. And the influence of significant people in our lives is real and strong.
But family members and friends are not perfect. Some of you may still be reeling from an unloving or even abusive parent. Some of you may still have the scars of divorce. Some of you may be climbing out of the hole you followed close "friends" into. And many (too many) use their past experience to rationalize their present action. Today's passage makes this truth clear: You cannot blame your present sin on the sin of others. You are personally held responsible for your actions.
Three important questions to honestly ask, answer, and act upon are the following:
Father, it is easy to blame my sin on the actions of others. Remind me that I own my sin. Remind me that I will be held accountable for my sin. Help me quit blaming others. Help me turn from my sin and turn to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.