Baggage Check podcast notes
I had carry on luggage and before I left Haiti decided to check the bag instead. Forgot I had $500 in my luggage. When I arrived in Miami it was gone.
Got off the plane in Utah for a layover. Had this great sense of freedom. Opps. Forgot my carry on.
Most of us go through life carrying baggage. When we are young it’s easy to go through life without a care. You have hope. You dream. You are optimistic. And then life starts happening to you. Someone says “I don’t love you.” “I wish I never had you” “You are so stupid” All of a sudden you’re carrying this around. It’s not a lot of baggage. You can manage it. So you carry on. Then a friend betrays you. The person you thought loved you and would never leave you, leaves you. That person you thought was a Christian doesn’t act like one. And you pick up some more baggage. You try to convince yourself that those negative words aren’t true but before long your brain is scarred by those negative words. The tapes start playing in your head. “You’re not good enough. No one loves me. You can’t trust anyone. I’ve made too many mistakes for anyone to want to be with me. My life is messed up. God would never bless me.” And you add more baggage. And it’s wearing you out. It’s making you tired. It’s effecting other relationships. It it possible that this is you ?
As we get started, open your bible to Matthew 11. In Matthew 11 Jesus makes probably the most famous statement in scripture regarding baggage. Look at verse 28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I think there are two prominent groups of people Jesus is talking to in these verses.
First is people who are burdened by sin.
There was another group of people who were weighed down with the burden of religion.
It’s easy to fall into both of those traps. But God has something better for us. He wants us to drop our baggage. He wants us to live like little kids
Looking at the beginning of Jesus statement in verse 25.
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. Mark 10:13-16
This is a common theme that Jesus keeps coming back to over and over. It’s a challenge to a childlike faith. Not a childish faith. But a childlike faith.
A faith that frees you from your inhibitions
A faith that does not wrap around your ankles
A faith that brings out the joy and the passion of life
A faith that replaces your old jaded heart with a heart that is alive.
A heart that finds joy in the simple things
A playful faith
A faith that can give you back the childhood that you never got
A faith that restores you to the innocence you had before your baggage, before you were covered in sin, before you made that mistake you can’t forgive yourself for.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5
How many of you here want those verses to be true of you? Your forgiven. Your healed. Your desires are satisfied. Your youth is renewed? Who’s in? Okay, that’s everyone. Now how do we get there?
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
So according to our verses, what’s our first step? Come. Come to Jesus. Bring him your baggage. Be honest about it. Admit you can’t carry it.
Some burdens that we carry that we can let go of
The burden of appearance
I remember when we were potty training our children, they were constantly flying around the house, causing all kinds of terror, until they had to go to the bathroom. Then they’d go missing. You’d find them in the corner behind some furniture, trying to hide what they were doing. It was ridiculous, because the sights and smells their facial expression all betrayed them. We knew what was going on. But they insisted on hiding.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Psalm 32:3,4
Do you want to drop a bag. Admit your baggage. Admit it to yourself. Stop saying, “It’s natural. I’m only human. Everyone struggles with this. I don’t have a problem.” Stop saying, “It’s there fault. He’s wrong. She’s just angry. He’s got the problem.” Just come clean and admit it. Lay it before God. Tell him. Write it down. Confess it. Then take the ultimate step. Tell someone else. Talk to a friend. Hire a counselor.
(I’d love it if you guys could add to this list of what burdens we needlessly carry)
The burden of other people
The burden of worrying about everyone in your family
The burden of old tapes playing in your head
The burden of soul fatigue
In the book Soul Keeping by John Ortberg he talks about three ways our soul can fatigue us.
Soul fatigue can attack the body. Ortberg describes it like this.
“When we stay up too late and rise too early; when we try to fuel ourselves for the day with coffee and a donut in the morning and Redbull in the afternoon; when we refuse to take the time to exercise and we eat foods that clog our brains and arteries; when we constantly try to guess which line at the grocery store will move faster and which car in which lane at the stoplight will move faster and which parking space is closest to the mall, our bodies grow weary.” Can you relate to that. Have you ever played that game at the grocery store “Which line will be fastest?” If that’s you, that make be an indication of soul fatigue.
Soul fatigue can also attack the mind. Ortberg describes mind fatigue like this. “when we are bombarded by information all day at work… When multiple screens are always clamoring for attention… When we carry around mental lists of errands not yet done and bills not yet paid and emails not yet replied to… Our minds grow weary.”
Ortberg also talks about choice fatigue. We have so many decisions to make. What foods to buy, what clothes to wear, what movie to rent, what vacation destination to go to. The sheer length of the menu at Cheesecake factory oppresses us.