All of us have baggage, these are the negative things that work together to define our lives. Some have more than others, but we all have baggage. God knows we have baggage but He takes us just as we are. Men marry a woman with the hope she never changes, women marry a man with the hope of changing him. The worst baggage of all is when a person can’t ever stand themselves.
James 5:16 Confess to one another your faults, your slip ups, false steps and your offenses, and pray for one another that you may be healed and restored.
Before anyone can confess their faults to anyone they must first recognize and admit they have baggage. If a person lives in denial, they will never change and their relationships will always be limited. Notice the text, it says confess to one another, this indicates that we all have baggage so there is no place for judgement. We cannot pray effectively for one another if we are full of criticism and judgement. If a person continually gripes about the conduct of other people, that person has the problem. The world loves to promote and glorify the “victim” mentality, this doctrine has no place in the church.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in time of need.
God does not want any of His people to be a burden to His body so He offers His grace to fortify our weakness. God’s grace is His supernatural power that changes a man from the inside out. So this is our option: we can complain and be a pain in the derriere or we can present ourselves to God and let Him deal with our baggage.
2 Timothy 1:7 God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God has given us His Spirit and if we will embrace His Spirit we will never fear anything. Fear is the door that opens to all our baggage so if we will deal with all our fears we can ship our baggage out. Fear does not originate with God, He gives us grace and His grace deals with our fears. The spirit of fear works in our mind, it convinces us to expect the worst of everything. When a man has fear he thinks everyone is “out to get him”. He has no self confidence, he misunderstands good intentions and he spends most of his time in worry! If a man does not have a sound mind he will be inundated with thoughts of paranoia.
Genesis 3:12 And Adam said, the woman you gave me, she gave me the fruit and I ate it.
So it began with Adam: “it’s not my fault”, it was that woman. I often wonder how things would have been if Adam took responsibility for his disobedience? When he passed the buck he added baggage to his life, he feared what God would do. You cannot successfully deal with something that does not belong to you. Locking things away in a dark closet will not end the problem, they need to be out in the light where God’s grace can take hold of them.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.