Recognising and breaking word curses
Word curses recorded in the Bible have all led to spiritual or physical troubles. In secular superstitious circles, curses are said to bring “bad luck”. Praise God that His Word shows us how to recognise and break curses spoken over our lives.
God’s Word warns us against cursing other people, because it brings fiery judgement against us. The tongue has the power of spiritual life and death.
Matthew 5:22 NLT But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
The good news is that when Jesus Christ died on the cross, He became a curse for us so that we may live life abundantly through the Holy Spirit, instead of suffering the spiritual or physical troubles we deserve because of our wayward hearts.
Galatians 3:14 ESV Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” — so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Some clarifications about curses
1. Anyone can curse
You don’t need to learn witchcraft to curse someone. We all use our tongues in ungodly ways to curse ourselves or other people. As evidenced in James 3:9, even Christians can curse each other!
James 3:9-10 ESV With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Some curses people may say to each other include:
- “You will never be successful.”
- “You were born to suffer.”
- “You won’t be able to have children.”
- “You are not as good as ….”
- “I might as well die.”
- “You are better off dead.”
2. Even unrevealed curses have an effect
Just as prayers, spoken or unspoken over the people we judge, are effective. Curses form in our hearts, not in our mouths.
Matthew 15:18–19 ESV … For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.
Ecclesiastes 10:20 AKJV Curse not the king, no not in your thought; and curse not the rich in your bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.
3. We can suffer from unintended curses
God’s Word results in a harvest of “good fruit” if we hold on fast to it in our hearts. In the same way, we can turn the words we hear from people we trust into curses that bear “bad fruit”.
For example, a man who trusts a doctor that says he will never recover from his medical condition is unlikely to be able to receive God’s miraculous healing, no matter how many times he prays. The doctor’s words (based on a human being’s limited knowledge and not on God) has become an unintended curse. The man must take down such a stronghold through repentance and renunciation, before his relationship with God can be restored.
Luke 8:15 ESV As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
Psalm 146:3 NLT Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.
4. Curses can fall on objects and places too
Objects and places can also be destroyed through sin and curses.
Deuteronomy 7:26 ESV And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.
Deuteronomy 11:29 NLT “When the LORD your God brings you into the land and helps you take possession of it, you must pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal.
What results in curses
The Bible lists the ways we may suffer curses as a result of sin. Here are some of them.
1. Cursing anyone, including ourselves
Psalm 109:17 ESV He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him!
2. Cursing our parents
Leviticus 20:9 ESV For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.
3. Cursing God
Leviticus 24:15-16 NIV Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death…
4. Cursing the country, Israel
Numbers 24:9 NLT … Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.”
5. Being a target of someone’s murderous hatred*
1 John 3:15 ESV Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
* Curses form in the heart. When someone hates another person, he or she will wish misfortune on the other person.
How to nullify a curse
A curse brings spiritual death. It opens the door to Satan to rob us of our spiritual rights as God’s children to enjoy God’s abundant life, including love, joy, peace, health, providence, protection and more. To be free of curses, we must humbly confess and repent of our sins in Jesus’ name, so that we can receive healing and restoration from God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
1. Check our hearts
Before we nullify a curse, it is helpful to test our hearts and repent if we have more love for ourselves than for God. There is little point in breaking a curse if we don’t love God solely for who He is, rather than what He can do for us. We should not use His name in vain, to benefit ourselves. Otherwise, we will still live as accursed.
1 Corinthians 16:22 ESV If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!
2. Repent and prepare our hearts
When we pray, we stand before God’s throne. We cannot bring the foul stench of our sins into God’s holy throne room if we want to speak with our King. We must first repent of them from our heart, and not just as a formality.
Ezekiel 18:23 NIV For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
3. Revoke curses we have wished or spoken
When we curse someone, we place a “spiritual murder contract” on their life. As the ones responsible, we must revoke those contracts before God, our Judge and our Redeemer, and replace them with spoken blessings in Jesus’ name.
Leviticus 26:40,45 ESV “But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me… But I will for their sake remember the covenant with their forefathers, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.”
4. Forgive and bless
Very importantly, we must forgive those who hate us or have intentionally or unintentionally cursed us in Jesus’ name. To neutralise the toxicity of a curse, we should return their curses with spoken blessings. Don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to bless them face to face, you can speak out the blessings anywhere in Jesus’ name. In this way, we can expect God to free us from curses when we obey Him and prove ourselves to be more honourable than others – just like Jabez did (see 1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
Romans 12:14 ESV Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
This post covers spoken curses in general. It does not cover witchcraft curses, curses as a result of breaking the Moses Law, generational curses etc.
As much as we try, we may not be able to humanly identify and cut off all curses on our own. That is why we should invite the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and show us what else we need to bring before our Holy Father for restoration and healing.
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
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