It’s great to go on a special holiday somewhere, and then, before you leave, you need to think about the baggage: What do I take? What do I need for my journey? Often we overpack—things we don’t really need, and when we get home, we realise they were only taking up space, and actually were a burden.
Travel experts often say, pack light—pack only what you really need. I’ve done the same thing myself, and maybe you have too. People who travel a lot overseas work it all out, and pack only what they will need, and no more. Airlines have certain limitations for luggage which you must adhere to. It’s quite distressing to be running late to catch a plane only to be running with a heavy suitcase!
I believe that everyone of us have baggage of some kind in our lives. If you’ve ever flown on an airplane then you probably had a front-row seat to see many people with baggage or luggage! Baggage comes in different shapes and sizes; while some are easy to carry some are incredibly heavy to lift and cumbersome to drag for long distances. Baggage in and of itself, is something we carry that isn’t a part of us but it is with us. It may contain things that we need for our everyday lives, and we feel it’s important for our lives—so we carry it. But it can be a personal problem.
Some of our baggage comes from something that someone has done to us. It wasn’t our fault at all. But because of what someone did we’re carrying around baggage and it’s weighing us down. It’s like they handed us, or forced a suitcase on us. Now, I need to reiterate, this isn’t/wasn’t your fault, but it’s still baggage that you’re carrying around. You need to acknowledge the truth that you have this baggage.
We All Carry Some Kind of Baggage
Many people have what I call spiritual baggage. Maybe they grew up under some very bad teaching and kind of entered into a legalistic mindset or became incredibly judgmental. That’s spiritual baggage. Maybe for you, you’ve got a bad feeling about church. Like maybe you heard bad stuff about church growing up or you had a bad experience, so you don’t like church and don’t attend—that’s spiritual baggage. Maybe your problem is with God. Life didn’t turn out the way you thought it would and so you are angry with God. Or maybe it’s that you’re angry with other Christians. I know some who hate Christians. Just the name Christian turns them off. Maybe that’s baggage you are carrying. It’s a spiritual baggage.
Maybe for you it is relational baggage. You trusted someone and that someone you trusted betrayed your trust, so you have this wall up all around your heart and you won’t let people in; you don’t talk openly, and you don’t allow yourself to become vulnerable.
Or you may be carrying around the baggage of abuse. Unfortunately, the statistics about the abuse that is going on in our world are absolutely and completely horrifying. Perhaps you know firsthand that kind of horror that abuse brings and what that does in your life. Abuse leaves us with baggage. And even though it wasn’t your fault you need to name it.
And then, of course, so many people have this self-image baggage. You know, I’ll never amount to anything, and I’m messed up. I’m worthless.
And what about the baggage of addiction. Maybe you feel like you are hooked on something you could never ever break free of this addiction and the baggage just seems to enslave you.
But we need to do more than just acknowledge that we have baggage. We need to get specific about it. We need to acknowledge some truth about our baggage, because, think about it, some of our baggage is our own fault. Some of the baggage we’re carrying around is the result of us messing up, us making stupid decisions, us doing things that we knew we shouldn’t be doing.
Some of that baggage that you’re carrying around you picked up. It’s a consequence for something you’ve done. You need to acknowledge that truth. It’s possible you may relate to the words of David in Psalm 109:22, “For I am poor and needy and my heart is wounded within me”. So many of us carry wounds of brokenness and pain in our heart.