Monday, August 1, 2016

Dealing with Baggage

Submitted by Sam Nobles
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)

Everyone carries some type of baggage: certain issues in your life that you don’t want to face or deal with. This baggage weighs you down and wears you out. Baggage is picked up all through life, sometimes by our own sinfulness and other times through situations that were no fault of our own. If this baggage is not dealt with, it will be carried into every relationship you’ll ever have. Over time people learn how to function with their baggage or cover it up in order to navigate through life without ever having to deal with it. For some this baggage causes a great deal of inconvenience, but that is the price they are willing to pay no matter how cumbersome it makes their life. You don’t need to deal with the baggage just to make your life better, but you do need to deal with it for the people in your life that you love dearly that you won’t have if you don’t take care of the baggage.

Some cuts and bruises go so deep that people can actually become the very thing that they hate; the very thing that victimized them. For instance, most molesters were molested. Many abusers were abused themselves. These vicious character flaws which develop in people, we call baggage, but the Bible calls strongholds. 

A stronghold is a place in your mind where your flawed thoughts offer a wrong response according to a particular circumstance in life. Some people get angry at the drop of a hat. Others run to drugs, alcohol, or even food when life sets off these triggers. When a stronghold rears its ugly head you’ll do things that you know are wrong and then hate yourself for doing them, and the devil wants you to hate yourself, because if you hate yourself you will hurt other people.

Getting Rid of the Baggage
The Bible says we destroy strongholds by making our thoughts captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Therefore, in order to deal effectively with baggage, you must learn to think differently. If you could start thinking on the Word of God it would change your actions which would turn situations around, loose strongholds, and relieve you from the baggage that has held you back. Right action comes from right thinking; right thinking comes from lining up your thoughts with the Word of God. Thinking on the Word is not necessarily a lot of studying; it is simply living what you believe.

Scripture to Claim:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV

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