Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Traveling through Life with God’s New Luggage instead of Our Old Baggage

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self. .  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”
 (Ephesians 4:22,24).

I don’t do a tremendous amount of traveling and most of what I do is done by car, but I have traveled by plane in the past.  Fortunately I never had the experience of  losing my luggage. Retrieving and holding on to my physical baggage is a good thing when traveling.

There is another kind of baggage that is not such a good thing, particularly if it impacts the way we handle our pain and problems.  Most of us carry around some mental and emotional baggage that we would do better to let go of.  This might include views and beliefs about others, ourselves, and God. We may be carrying the baggage of beliefs that God doesn’t care about suffering, is not hearing our pleas for help, and His strength will not be enough to carry us through our pain.  We may have a suitcase of lies about ourselves – we are useless, we can’t do this anymore, or we are unimportant and insignificant.  Our baggage may include fear, worry, and many other negative emotions and beliefs.

As new creations in Christ this baggage is not something we have to claim anymore.  At least some of the people Paul was addressing in the above passage had been caught up in many negative behaviors  (II Corinthians 4:1), yet they were able to change because of God’s renewing power.

We have that same power within us.  We can let go of our old baggage and respond differently to our trials.  When we are tempted to reclaim that old baggage, we need to let it pass by and claim the new wardrobe God has given us.  What’s inside – a garment of praise and salvation, a robe of righteousness, and other blessings – is a much better fit.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I want to let go of the baggage of negative and faithless beliefs belonging to my old self .  Thank you for the power You give me to change and let me appropriate that power today. Amen.

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