Who packs lighter in your family for a week’s vacation? I’m not sure if it’s a personality thing or a male / female difference … BUT Jerry can throw 2 pairs of pants and 3 shirts in a bag (with appropriate undergarments) and be good to go, while I’m stuffing in at least 4 pairs of slacks/jeans, maybe a pair of shorts, not to mention at least one skirt, and probably 8 or more tops along with at least 2 pairs of shoes, sometimes 4!!! And I’ll still have a moment on the trip when I realize I don’t have what I want!
We all have baggage. Literal. Emotional. Cultural. Spiritual. As we study Acts 15 we see that the Jewish Christians – especially in Jerusalem – had their fair share of spiritual baggage from their Jewish heritage, culture and religion that they continued to carry with them as they followed The Way. Fortunately, the Counsel at Jerusalem, including Peter and James (Jesus’ brother), recognized that the new Greek Christians had no reason to carry the Hebrew’s bags, too.
It’s hard to put down a bag you’ve been carrying for so long you don’t really remember why you’re carrying it. Or maybe it is something that your parents, grandparents, beloved pastor or mentor handed to you on your spiritual journey. Change is difficult, especially when it comes to spiritual things, because in our hearts we want to be faithful in all things God asks of us. The key is discerning which things God asks of us and which things are not from him.
Change is coming at us in today’s world faster than ever before and on almost every front, including in our nation, our culture, our relationships, our families . . . even our church. In the transforming changes that have happened in just the last year at GFN, I recognized some baggage I was still carrying unnecessarily. It’s actually been a relief to put it down!
As we continue to study and seek out God’s will for us each day, I pray that you will continue to discern God’s heart in all areas of your life and release anything he shows you is not from him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
(Now, if I could just cut back to 3 slacks, 6 tops and 3 pairs of shoes!! ;-)