What does emotional or soul baggage look like? Certainly it bears no resemblance to the flashy alligator bags or supple calfskin suitcases that are the crowns of luxury in travel shops. No, these boxes are hidden deep in the cracks and crevices of our wounded souls. We keep them hidden in the back of the closet fearful that once opened our deepest secrets and wounds will be exposed for all to see. These unhealed wounds lock us in a box of bondage that translates into a happy face on the outside and a hopeless person trapped on the inside.
Perhaps you have been told that you’re worthless by parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, pastors, and other who were in authority over you. Perhaps you’ve been called stupid, dumb, ugly, fat, loser, too slow, too tall, two thin, or too whatever. Words have wounded your heart and those wounds are as raw today as they were the day they were inflicted. Listen closely—those words were a lie. You are a prisoner right now because you have believed the lie and locked it away in your heart. Expose the lie and embrace the truth.
Perhaps you’ve been hurt and rejected by someone you loved and who supposedly once loved you. You’ve been abandoned and your heart is shattered in a million pieces like shards of glass from a broken mirror. Perhaps you’ve gathered up every little piece and carefully stored them in a box and hid it what you considered a safe place. Yet the pain won’t go away. You’ve tried medication but all it does is make you numb and lifeless. You feel unloved and unlovable, and you are keeping God and everyone else at arm’s length because you’re afraid of rejection. You are drowning in unworthiness, unable to find the love you so desperately long for. Fear has paralyzed you. Listen closely—pour out the broken pieces of your heart before the Lord. He loved you so much he sent his Son to die for you. Allow him to mend your broken heart with his tender love.
Perhaps you are filled with shame. Perhaps you were abused or used by someone who was nothing more than a predator. The enemy has lied to you and convinced you that you are “less than—damaged goods.” Perhaps you have believed his lie that you deserved exactly what you got. That shame has filled you and you are so afraid someone might see the filth you feel you are covered in. Shame, humiliation, and embarrassment are your constant companions. Listen closely—God says you belong to him. You are not what happened to you. That abuse or misuse by a predator does not define who you are—it is not your identity. God says you are the apple of his eye and he has drawn you to himself with lovingkindness. Allow him to restore your heart and your emotions.
Perhaps you’ve made some mistakes. We all have. Perhaps it was a bad decision that led to a behavior or action you can’t undo or redo. You’ve racked your brain raw trying to figure out how you could have been so stupid. You’re ashamed and filled with condemnation, so you’ve pushed it down in a little box and taped the lid tight so no one will ever find out. Like a broken record all you can hear is God can’t forgive this. Listen closely—take that event, that lapse of judgment, that stupid decision, that hidden sin out of the box and present it to God. Come into agreement with God that it is whatever it is. Forgiveness will come. He will not hold it back. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
These are the things that line the baggage boxes of most believers. They will ferment and eat away the linings of our soul unless we offer them up to God. Darkness thrives in darkness, but it flees when exposed to light. Perhaps the time has come to turn on the light.