Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsMonday 30 Dec 2019Morning Devotions with Chris Witts
The question for you again is Are you carrying excess baggage? I’m not talking about the physical baggage, of course, that you pack to go on a holiday. We’re talking about things like emotional or spiritual baggage.
Until you can acknowledge that painful things have happened to you—things which were not appropriately finished—you cannot work through them. And if you don’t work through them, they will continue to disturb you in the present. So the first step to dealing with baggage is to confess to yourself and to God that you have issues that must be dealt with.
2. Include Others In Your Healing And Grieving
Seek from others the care and healing you need to finish whatever happened in the past. It begins with opening up your feelings to others about what happened in the past so they can comfort you, pray for you, and encourage you.
3. Receive Forgiveness
Often the pain we drag into new situations is from a failure in the past. In order to get rid of your baggage, you need to be free of the guilt and shame of past mistakes, failures, and sins. Once you know you are totally accepted, forgiven, and loved, you can tackle life with gusto.
Your past failures and mistakes may have alienated you from some people as well as from God. Your hurtful words or damaging actions may have made you a few enemies. If so, God’s way for you is to go to those people and make it right. Humbly confessing your wrong and receiving forgiveness from those you have hurt is a vital step to leaving your baggage behind.
4. Forgive Others
Some of the baggage you carry is the result of being hurt by others. You may be the victim of a parent’s lack of love and acceptance. Or perhaps you were betrayed by a partner, abandoned by a friend, dishonoured by someone, or misled by a spiritual leader. You were wronged in some way, and you still carry the pain, anger, and perhaps hatred from that offense.
If you are going to leave your baggage behind, you must forgive those who have wounded you. Take your cue from God, who has forgiven your sins. If you don’t forgive, your resentment will continue to eat away at your heart and keep you from the freedom you seek on God’s way.
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5. Look At Yourself Realistically
You may have learned dysfunctional patterns for dealing with life, relationships, risk, and love, and these patterns are causing you problems now and holding you back from what God has for you. Take a close look at how you live. If you have trouble allowing people to get close to you, examine that pattern to see how it is limiting your relationships.
6. See Yourself Through New Eyes
Another kind of baggage we carry around is the distorted view of ourselves we learned in past relationships or situations. We see ourselves through the people who love us and sometimes through the eyes of those who don’t. Our self-concept is a relational vision. We tend to look at ourselves through the eyes of others who are important to us. This is why some people suddenly blossom in healthy new relationships where they are valued as God’s creation. It is also how other people grow to loathe themselves in relationships where they are devalued and mistreated.
How do you see yourself? Is your self-view realistic? Is it balanced with strengths and value as well as weaknesses and growth areas? Do you see yourself as loved?
7. Leave The Past In The Past
God’s Word says in Psalm 103:12: “How far has the Lord taken our sins from us? Further than the distance from east to west.”