Are You Carrying Excess Baggage? – Part 2 — Morning Devotions – Hope 103.2

Are You Carrying Excess Baggage? – Part 2 — Morning Devotions

In dealing with our personal baggage—beliefs, feelings, skills—we need to talk about it, and then consider 'repacking' our bags. God shows us a way.

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.

By Chris WittsSunday 29 Dec 2019Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 4 minutes

In Part 1, I introduced the topic of Are you carrying excess baggage? But what most of us do with the baggage that we’re carrying is act like it’s not there. Now, we know it’s there. Everybody else knows it’s there. But we pretend like it’s not there. We sweep it under the carpet.

But that’s not helpful. So, instead of just continuing to carry the baggage we have, we need to talk about it. We need to figure out how to get rid of our baggage. Don’t you think it’s time we figure out how to get rid of the baggage that’s weighing us down and getting in the way of life and relationships and God’s purpose for our life?

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 personal growth and slow down our maturity. That’s what baggage is. We take on a lot of unnecessary weight and suffer the consequences.

Think of your life journey as a trip. When people take a trip they think of where they are going, how they are going to get there and what it is they are going to take with them. There is the baggage you take with you on your life journey. The baggage I am talking about carries:

  1. beliefs about yourself, others, and the world;
  2. feelings you value and/or the feelings you experienced that you have held onto because it wasn’t safe to express them and
  3. the skills you developed that help you to live with others and to achieve your goals.

Maybe You Need to Consider Repacking Your Bags

Look at the bags you travel with. Unpack them and look inside. What are you carrying? How long have you been carrying them? Don’t you hate dragging a load of luggage through an airport? How would you feel if you had to carry a couple of suitcases, backpacks, and carry-on bags everywhere you went? What torture! And you sure wouldn’t get very far very fast.

Similarly, on the journey along God’s way, you won’t get very far very fast if you are loaded down with a lot of emotional baggage. A good principle for finding God’s way to success in your life is to leave your baggage behind. The more junk you get rid of from your past, the easier it will be to navigate through the future.

From time to time we all experience difficult, painful events and relationships. For example, someone hurts you physically or emotionally, your parents divorce or a girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you, you make a serious mistake that hurts someone, you lose a loved one in a tragic accident. Ideally, these painful events are resolved in good time. Offenses are confessed, offenders are forgiven, conflicts are resolved, and the incident is finished. We no longer have to carry those burdensome fears and feelings.

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However, many times our hurts do not get resolved as they should. Pain is kept deep inside instead of being dealt with. Offenders are not forgiven, fears are not confronted, conflicts are not resolved. In other words, there is no appropriate finishing. As a result, we carry with us from the past feelings and patterns of behaviour which impact our relationships and activities in the present, often in a negative way. That’s baggage.

A Way to Get Rid of Our Baggage in Life

God has wired us to process pain and disappointment as it happens in our lives. Most of us didn’t know that as children; so we have dragged suitcases full of unresolved issues into our teen years and then into adulthood. I want to say that God will make a way for you, and part of that way involves helping you get rid of the baggage in your life.

1. Agree That You May Have A Painful Past
The Bible tells us the story of Saul of Tarsus, known now as the Apostle Paul. He was a brilliant Christian leader, but years before he was guilty of some terrible crimes against Christians. And yet God forgave him and he found a new life as a servant of Jesus Christ.

I have seen people overcome all kinds of pain from their past with God’s help; but you won’t overcome anything until you admit that it exists.

(To be continued in Are You Carrying Excess Baggage? – Part 3)