The Unpacked Baggage

"Then Jesus said, 'Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.' " Matthew 11:28...."And forgive us our sins, just as we forgive those who have sinned against us." Luke 11:4....."In the Lord's prayer, all we're asked to do is forgive."....."What would it look like right now if all your baggage became visible?" Sheila Walsh

 

Anyone who flies today knows that privacy doesn't exist as concerns what we carry along with us. Our bags are subjected to random searches on a regular basis. For me, this means that I don't want anything present that will cause me embarrassment or trouble. I expect you're much the same. If this is true, how much more so is it of the emotional and spiritual baggage we may be carrying? That's why Walsh's above question should hit so close to home for each of us. If the baggage we carry, and all of us carry some degree of it, were to become visible to all, what would all see? What would we see? Unresolved anger and bitterness? Long standing and ever simmering unforgiveness? Secret and clinging sinful behavior? All of us become masters at skillfully packing such things away, out of sight of all. Of all but Him. He, through His Holy Spirit, is a Master at unpacking our baggage and exposing all the things we don't want anyone to see...including ourselves.

We become masters at carrying baggage. Jesus calls them heavy burdens.  The horror is, we want to continue to carry it. We've gotten so used to it that we resent, even fear letting it go. We can become very comfortable in our bitterness, unforgiveness, sin, and the shame that goes with it all. We may conceal it in some very grand and lovely luggage, but it's there, eating away at our hearts and minds. Even so, we justify it. It's our right to carry it. If anyone had experienced the kind of betrayal, abuse, or past that we had, they'd be doing what we do, living as we do. So wherever we go, the baggage goes too. And it seems like every day, there's another piece added. 

 

As stated, the baggage can be in many forms, but I don't think any "bag" weighs more upon us than unforgiveness. Sheila Walsh told the story of the man who was asked who his favorite person was. "My tailor," he answered. Why? "Because every time I see him he takes fresh measurements of me." Do we see the connection? His tailor did not hold him to one view, but each time he encountered him, saw him in a new way. In telling this story, Walsh asked, "Who are the people in our lives that we need to have a 'fresh measurement' of?" Who are the people that we need to allow Him to show us in a new light? His Light. Who do we need to see with His mercy? The same mercy He has given to us? The only way we get to the place where we can even answer this question is when we have yielded our baggage to His loving, but thorough search. Have we? Will we? Can we?

Unpacked baggage. Are we ready for it? The giving of fresh measurements. Who in our lives is in need of that? We can have them, give them, or, we can continue to carry and withhold them. What will we most likely be doing today, tomorrow, and beyond?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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