Daily Devotional – 2/23/16 “Baggage!”

Certain airlines have a minimum on the weight you can carry. For those, they charge you extra if your bags are too heavy. Chile, I’m so glad God doesn’t charge us based on the baggage we carry with us on a daily basis. Seriously! I mean, some of us are still holding on to stuff that happened two husbands or wives ago. We’re still dealing with mess from childhood and we’re 50. Some of us still mad at the pastor and he’s been dead ten years. Still holding on to a hurt by your last boo and he’s been married, to somebody else. You’re making your new spouse pay for what the last one did and it’s all because you’ve yet to unpack the baggage from that relationship. Aren’t you tired of carrying that load? Isn’t your back hurting from all that crap on your shoulders? Yes, I know you wanted to care for momma but if you know you couldn’t why are you still beating yourself up over putting her in a nursing home? Oh, I know you really wanted to help your brother, whose locked up, but if you’re barely eating how can you feed him? Yea, I know you wanted to help your sister with all her children but baby, you hardly got room for your family.

When are you going to unpack those bags? You’ve got to be tired by now! Stop focusing on what you did or didn’t do, back then or yesterday; let it go. Ok, so your business didn’t work out. The pastoral assignment didn’t pan out like you wanted it. Your relationship didn’t progress like you hoped it would. Your job didn’t fit. Now what? Are you going to dwell there or are you going to move on? Are you going to stay in your loss or will you get up and try again? Stuff happens. And guess what, sometimes it’s bad but deal with it. However, don’t continually drag all that other stuff around because you may find that the person you’re trying to ride with doesn’t have the room or time to deal with it. And if the truth should be told, I shouldn’t have to obligate myself to deal with your old rotten, molded baggage. If you know you aren’t over your last relationship, don’t get into a new one. If you haven’t dealt with the church hurt, stop hurting other churches with it. If you’ve yet to figure out why your last business or assignment didn’t work, don’t go into a new one. Deal with your issues and get to a point in your life where you’re tired of dragging that stuff around. Unpack it better yet, throw it all out!

God says in Isaiah 43:18, “But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.”

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Daily Devotional – 12/2/11 “Unpack your bags!”

Have you ever returned from vacation or a business trip with your luggage only to leave it sitting in the corner, to never unpack it? I would probably think not because most of the things you use every day are packed in those bags, right? So, why do you continue to leave bags packed from past trips? You know the trips I’m referring to like the past relationships, past jobs, past hurt and past anger. Because you still have those bags packed, you don’t have room to pack anything else. You can’t go on any new trips because your luggage is still packed with old outdated stuff. Chile, you’d better unpack those bags, burn what’s in them and move on!

You were in a relationship with this man who you thought would be your knight in shining armor. You thought that he was the one that God sent, you know, your soul mate. You put all your trust in him because he could do no wrong. He provided for you, made you feel good with his hands and with his words and you never wanted for anything. He promised that he’d never hurt you because he loved you with his heart and soul. But then one day he falls from the pedestal you’ve placed him on. You found out that your entire relationship has been a lie but know only was he a liar, he was also a cheater because he has been sleeping with your friend. That same friend that you confided in with your deepest, darkest secrets and the same one you told everything too. See, you didn’t notice that while you were talking, she was taking notes. She wanted what you had. Now, you are devastated and you’ve held on to this hurt for 4 years. Since that time he has moved on to another relationship and so has that so-called friend you had but the only one that is stalled in the past is you. You can’t keep a relationship because you still got the baggage from him. You are so busy treating every man like the hurt that is within you that you can’t even see that you’re blocking your blessing. Just because you’ve been hurt it won’t stop you from living unless you allow it too. Don’t you know that because you think that every man will hurt you, you open yourself up to be hurt? You need to let that go. Colossians 3:8 say “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Holding on to things that have hurt you in the past, hinders you. It doesn’t affect the person that hurt you because they have moved on. Stop dwelling in past hurt. The bible state in Luke 6:28 “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Don’t you know the more baggage you carry, the more weighted down you are? If you go into the airport these days, they charge you per each bag. If God charged some of with fees for the extra bags we carry daily, we would never be able to repay him. I’ve said this before in a previous devotional, but I must say it again – THE PAST IS THE PAST! Now, I didn’t say memories because those are the thoughts that make you smile when they think about them and those you keep. What I am talking about is the thoughts that make you angry just by bringing it up. Life is designed for us to encounter trouble and with trouble comes mistakes & bad choices. But your life doesn’t have to be consumed by the mistakes and troubles of your past. If you constantly look back, how can you see to move forward? If you constantly compare your new husband or wife to the old one, how can you see the good in him or her? You say but Jimmy use to treat me like this, Sara use to talk to me like that. But guess what, you aren’t married to Jimmy or Sara anymore! If you constantly compare your new job to the old one you use to have, how will you enjoy it? If you constantly talk about things that happened in your childhood, how can you expect to enjoy your adulthood? 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” How can you enjoy your new car if you’re still driving the old one? You’d better let it go now before it’s too late.

If, every morning, you have been given breath in your body to get up with new mercies, new blessings and a new start; why would you use that being bitter and mean? Lamentations 3:22-23 states, “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” If God woke you up, you opened your eyes and could see, you opened your mouth and could speak, you moved your arms and legs and they worked, why would you still get out of bed with a hateful attitude? The saying, let go so you can grow, is true. If you are constantly holding on to rope that is tied to a tree, it will eventually stop you from moving. This is the same hold the past has on you because you choose to let it. You’re still mad at momma because of something she did when you were a teenager. Baby, momma is dead and gone yet you’re still holding on to it. It’s not hurting momma anymore, but it’s consuming you. Let it go! You’re still mad at your last boyfriend/girlfriend because he or she cheated on you and now every guy/girl you meet has to hear about or deal with your insecurities. But the ex-boyfriend/girlfriend has moved on, gotten married and is enjoying life. It’s consuming you, let it go! You’re bitter because the job promoted somebody to a position you thought was yours, now all you do is complain the entire time you there. But the person who got the job has moved on to 2 other positions since then and you still wondering why they keep overlooking you. Let it go! You’ve become so wrapped up in the past hurt that folk don’t even want to talk to you anymore because they are tired of hearing it. Every time you come to a family function, you bring up issues from your childhood that has no bearing on your present life. You think you got punished more than your sister, so you stay mad at daddy. Your brother got to use the car more, so you’re mad at momma. Chile, stop it! You are grown with your own family, stop dwelling on the past! Stop with the pity party because there is nobody willing to join you when they are facing present situations daily.

Sometimes you have to give up stuff in order to be happy. You have to give up that gossiping friend in order to get real friends because no one wants to sit and listen to all her problems after she has had too many drinks. You have to let go of the trifling boyfriend/girlfriend in order to get the husband/wife God has for you because folk is tired of hearing about him not coming home (when you don’t make an effort to fix the problem). You have to let go of that one child that keeps making the same mistakes (put him/her in God’s hands) in order to see the good in your other children. You have to let go of anything that is holding you down. You can’t float to the top if you got weight tied around your ankles. The same way you can’t stop yourself from drowning if you are sitting in a boat that is filling with water. The only way for you to get into a new boat, without a hole, you have to first let go of the one that’s sinking and get out! You have to decide to be happy. Stop wasting the time that you have on being bitter with the world, because the world doesn’t owe you a thing! If every time I see you, you are complaining, I’ll eventually stop running into you. If your invitations are being lost in the mail to family, church or friends functions, it’s not the post office fault but it’s yours! You are losing precious time and once it is gone, you can’t get back! Unpack those bags that are in the corner, in the spare bedroom, closet and attic and release all those things that hold you down. Luke 9:62, “Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”