What Bag Do You Carry?
What Bag do YOU Carry?
Dolce? Chanel? Louis Vuitton? Or…a look alike? Women LOVE a beautiful handbag. We notice them, covet them and want more of them. Our handbag is on display for the entire world to see. It goes everywhere we go! It makes a statement; it carries our most personal items; and…should the need arise…it can be quite an effective weapon. The style of handbag we choose tells the world a lot as well. The tote bag or large open top bag says we are fun! We have a lot of stuff and it is with us at all times! The crossbody bag demonstrates that we carry just the essentials - nothing more – and we dare you to try to get them. And then there is the fabulous arm bag – the one that hangs from the crook of our arm – and says, “I am sassy and I am confident, dahling!” Oh, the wonderful handbag! What bag do you carry?
Then…there is the “not so wonderful” bag or bags we carry...you know the ones we don’t like to talk about. We pretend we are not carrying them around. Me? Baggage? No! We smile really pretty and pretend it is not there. We act as if no one knows about it. (Oh, but they do.) We have picked up baggage from past hurts, heartaches and hard struggles. The more baggage we carry, the more weighed down we become – and the less likely we are to live an abundant life full of peace and full of joy. So, let me ask you…what bag do you carry? Do you carry around guilt and shame, bitterness, fear and insecurity? Those bags are really heavy and it is time to set that baggage down. Can we at least talk about it?
What bag do you carry? Do you carry around GUILT and SHAME? My pastor says that “the enemy of our soul intentionally uses shame to destroy our capacity for intimacy with God and others.” Sometimes we regret our decisions, our actions, and our harsh words. We may feel shame because of something that happened to us. A bag of guilt and shame is HEAVY! We can carry it around and continue to punish ourselves for something we cannot undo. Or we can confess it to our heavenly Father. (He already knows.) Jennifer Rothschild says that confession “is to tell God and affirm in our own hearts that we think the same way about sin as God does.” We can pour out our heart and ask for His forgiveness. While we cannot undo it – He can wash it away. Then we have to choose to forgive our self and sit the bag down. No more guilt. No more shame. It will become a part of our story - the part that made us stronger. When we choose to lay down our life and instead live the life God is calling us to live – all of our life experiences work together to make us who He created us to be. We can more forward and let God do what he promises in Romans 8:28…
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
What bag do you carry? Do you carry around BITTERNESS? Is that your bag? Things happen in life that do not seem fair. We question why these things have happened to us. We become angry and frustrated and before we know it…we are bitter. When we allow ourselves to pick up the bag of bitterness it causes us to become full of resentment and frustration; harsh and somewhat cold, even cynical. We don’t laugh as much. We can get stuck. We can get stuck in the victim mode. We label ourselves “Abused” “Abandoned” “Mistreated” “Tormented” “Lonely” and so many others. (It doesn’t sound like we are fun to be around.) Oh sweet friends, our life here is short! We need to embrace all that is good in our life and all that is right. Pray Ephesians 4:31 and 32.
“Lord, please let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from me, with all malice. And help me to be kind to others, tender hearted, forgiving others, even as you have forgiven me.”
Then…there is the Bag of FEAR and INSECURITY. What bag do you carry? Is it this one? This is a popular bag! It comes in a lot of different colors with glitter and bling. We carry it and even decorate it. We behave as if this bag is attractive – but really…it is not. It is time to put this bag in the garage sale. WHY do we carry this? We believe that we are going to fail. We believe that things will not go right for us. We believe that others think less of us and judge us. We compare and believe we can never be as good as others. Well, is that what God says? If fear and insecurity are not from God – where do they come from? Yes…you got it! God says “Do not fear” over and over and over again in scripture. What is fear? If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that fear is simply lack of faith. Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” As long as we are following God – there is nothing to fear. And God’s word tells us in Philippians 4:13,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Do we believe that? Or do we battle unbelief? Unbelief is sin. Sin separates us from God. God says we are His Masterpiece, His beloved. He has plans for us. We are created with purpose. And in John 15:9 Jesus is speaking and He says, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” Wow! Abide means to accept and act in accordance with. Let’s set down this heavy, heavy bag and abide in this truth.
Our baggage not only weighs us down – but it says a lot about us. It reveals who we are and where we are in our walk with Christ. It exposes our need for more of Christ in our life. I don’t know about you – but I desire to be baggage free! Anytime we realize we have picked up some baggage – we only need to sit it down at the foot of the cross and Jesus will carry it for us. We can simply kneel and pray, “Jesus, I entrust this baggage to you. I give you my shame, my bitterness, and my insecurities. I am leaving those things here at the foot of the cross. I trust you with my life. I am laying this down and know that you will use it all for good in my life. Thank you for loving me, accepting me, and walking with me.”
Let’s break free from our emotional baggage, carry a fabulous handbag and go live a joy filled abundant life!
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