Too Much Baggage - Hope 103.2

Too Much Baggage

When you visit a big airport, one thing you’re sure to see is baggage—passengers carrying all sorts of baggage, getting ready to fly, and their baggage gets loaded on the plane as well.There’s an awful lot of weight in the bags, and airlines have strict rules about how much each passenger is allowed. But of […]

By Chris WittsWednesday 1 Aug 2018Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 5 minutes

When you visit a big airport, one thing you’re sure to see is baggage—passengers carrying all sorts of baggage, getting ready to fly, and their baggage gets loaded on the plane as well.

There’s an awful lot of weight in the bags, and airlines have strict rules about how much each passenger is allowed. But of course most of us try and pack in as much as we can and weigh the bags to see if we reach the maximum allowed. I recently saw a poster that said, Life is like a road trip. Enjoy each day, and don’t carry too much baggage.

I wonder if you’re carrying too much baggage in your own life? The popular Christian writer Max Lucado has written his book Traveling Light – Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear, where he describes how we all carry this baggage without even realising we’re doing it. Lucado writes (Source: “The Pastor is IN” blog):

Odds are, you have bags in your hands right now. Somewhere between your first step out of bed this morning and your last step out the door, you walked over to the baggage carousel and loaded up.

Packing up a suitcase of guilt, and a sack of discontent.
You draped a duffel bag of weariness on one shoulder and a garment bag of grief on the other. Add on a backpack of doubt,an overnight bag of loneliness,and a trunk of fear.
Pretty soon you’re juggling more luggage than you can handle. No wonder you’re so tired at the end of the day. Carrying all that baggage is exhausting.

‘Baggage’ is the human condition. The question is how we deal with our baggage. Do we embrace it and learn from it? Or are we buried under by it, unable to carry it, and then resorting to ineffective coping behaviours that continue to hurt us?  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines baggage as intangible things (as feelings, circumstances, or beliefs) that get in the way. We have thoughts, worries, memories, and ideas that hamper our growth and slow down our progress—that’s what baggage is. We take on a lot of unnecessary weight and suffer the consequences.

Baggage vs Luggage

Can you imagine someone who goes on a hiking trip bringing 10 sports bags filled with clothes? That’s someone with luggage. He’ll definitely lug those bags the whole time, huffing and puffing all the way. That’s just plain stupid. You’ll probably tell him that he should leave everything behind, right? Now imagine going on a month-long journey to cross a desert without any supplies.

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by

Isn’t that also stupid? I think that’s worse. Carrying too much will slow you down and tire you out, but carrying nothing at all may cost you your life. A life without cares is better than one that is full of them, but nothing can be worse than a life without Jesus. If you ask me, I believe that baggage is necessary as long as it’s his baggage and not our luggage.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.

How do you get rid of your baggage? You have to let go of them. The reason you’re burdened down is because you’re still holding on to them. God’s Word tells us to “Cast your burden upon the Lord” (Psalm 55:22). Notice that God does not automatically remove your burdens from you without your permission. He tells you to cast them on to him. You must let go and place them into his hands.

Hebrews 12:1 says, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”

Handling Your Baggage

Here’s an easy way to remember using ABC:

A – Assess your baggage
Search your heart and pray that God would reveal to you the baggage you’re carrying. Psalm 139:23-24 says:

Search me,God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

B – Beware of baggage
Baggage can come from anywhere. Be aware of situations that cause you to worry or compare yourself. Also, beware of others’ baggage. People are carrying baggage. You can sometimes see it in their attitude, choices, and words. Don’t let another person’s baggage create more of your own. I don’t know what your baggage is—it’s a personal matter. But there’s no point denying it or pretending there’s nothing there. Each of us has some baggage.

C – Check your baggage
Leave it all at God’s feet. Drop your bags and let him pick them up. And my favourite part: there’s no weight limit. It doesn’t cost more for a heavier bag. No matter what your struggles are—no matter your choices, your behaviour—it doesn’t matter. Check your bags at the cross.

There’s a wonderful verse in the New Testament, 1 John 5:3 (The Voice), which says, “…to love God means that we keep His commands,and His commands don’t weigh us down”. This means God’s ways for us are not out of line—they match our aspirations and personality. He knows what is best for us, and we can live each day trusting him for everything.

When you prepare to travel somewhere, packing everything but the kitchen sink may sound like a good idea, but the truth is, packing light usually makes for a much more pleasant travel experience. The same can be said for the journey of life. Excess baggage makes life cumbersome and stressful. Everyone has baggage.

Whether you had a troubled childhood, a bad marriage, or life has handed you everything on a silver platter—you have baggage. And that baggage affects everything you’ll ever do, every relationship you’ll ever have, and every opportunity you’ll ever be given. Allow a loving God to help you manage each day as it comes, in his strength, and not your own. Jesus offers to handle all situations that come our way.