Friday, January 22, 2016

Hidden Baggage

“Apology goes here!” my husband said as he tapped his cheek for me to give him a little kissy on the jaw. 

Chuckling I said, “I never blamed you.”  Then I thought, well, I guess I did and relinquished a kiss affirming what he said in the first place … him being right. 

This all started almost six years ago when traveling home from my sister’s wedding, but ended with the cleaning out of a closet.  It’s funny how a little “dirt” can reveal a mountain of stones collected through denial. Hidden Baggage - Confessions of A Soul.

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Let the Blames Begin 

We were half way to our destination and the car was loaded after gathering our things from the hotel.  It wasn’t until we were home a few weeks that I realized my cosmetic case was missing. 
Usually the things in that case are set aside for traveling and not my everyday products, that way it is ready all the time. When I prepare for the next trip I restock what I need. 

I couldn’t find it anywhere and therefore thought it must have been left behind at our last stopping point.  Since hubby is the one who loads the car, I quickly blamed him for not loading “all” my luggage even though we both give the room a final once over before leaving any place.  He claimed that he did, but how could that be if it were missing? 

Fast Forward – January 16th, 2016 

It was on a Saturday that I decided to clean out the bottom of the hall closet, and vacuum it to put away some holiday dishes.  Removing things one by one, I noticed a pink Sterilite show-offs container that I couldn’t remember owning.  I picked it up and decided to check out the contents.  Lifting it into position for opening I couldn’t believe what I found inside.

Yep, you guessed it … my cosmetic case!  For all its worth I couldn’t imagine why it was inside there, especially when I didn’t even remember the container. 

I had made some bridal things for my sister’s wedding like the tissue holder (view it here) and I bought it so the items wouldn’t get messed up during travel.  After the wedding the container was empty so I must have consolidated things for the trip home.
Never having the container before that, I didn’t know where to put it when we got home and stuck it in the closet.  Every time I cleaned there I moved that bugger, but thought it was the one for the pets outfits (yes, I’m one of those people). I didn’t take notice of what was inside and simply put it back after I cleaned. 

I believe it was the Holy Spirit who had me open the box this time to get rid of some “excess” baggage of blame I didn’t realize I had stored up for years. 

False Evidence 

Pulling out all the products in the cosmetic case I saw that there wasn’t anything of value in it except $10 from the budget envelope for that particular trip.  Why the cash was in there I don’t know either. 

The “missing” case made its way into a few conversations over the years when I used it for ammunition against my husband to argue a case for me being right about something.  When that happened we’d both laugh insisting that the other person was in the wrong. 

So this may be the only time I confess openly for the benefit of fellow husbands … “I was wrong.” (and there isn’t a “but” clause either!) 


While hubby vacuumed (he won’t let me do it), I sat on the couch and knew what I had to do while waiting for him to finish.  Take a nap!  Kidding … 

I confessed my sin to the Lord and unloaded another piece of hidden baggage that had been stored up in my spirit.  You may have thought I was delighted and did a shout of joy when I discovered my beauty bag.  It didn’t happen that way. There was no drama and my attitude was anything but beautiful in this situation.   

I felt worse about judging then blaming my husband for something he confessed he didn’t do and not believing him at his word.  The whole thing reminds me of how God must feel when we don’t believe His Word and blame Him when things go wrong. 

The Bible says that your sins will (always) find you out; it doesn’t say when, but it is a surety. (Numbers 32:23) 

Truth Changes Scientific Facts 

I really believed hubby was to blame based on past evidence and “routine” of how we do things when we travel.  We have it down to a science, because of how much we have journeyed. 

Even though I was wrong that wasn’t the real sin; that was my own stupidity.  Being wrong about something isn’t a sin; it’s how you act when you "think you are right" that people fall into the sin of arrogance. 

After the event I forgave him right away (how generous of me!), because I knew the Bible tells us not to hold anything against anyone and to forgive.  I thought I had done that.  When I discovered he wasn’t to blame is where the sin fell. 

If I didn’t give my spouse an apology and repent before the Lord that is where sin would have fallen.  Praise God for those who have taught me to study the scriptures and learn what to do when I have hurt anyone, especially God. (There must be some sort of disclaimer in there though that applies to family, right?)

When Saying You’re Sorry Counts 

King David in the Old Testament of the Bible was loved by God and was said to be the “Apple of His Eyes.”  If you know the history behind David’s reign, you know he wasn’t a boy scout.  What got the Heavenly Father’s attention is that David was quick to repent and sought not to do that sin again.  

To repent means to turn, do a complete opposite of a certain behavior.  Sometimes we say we’re sorry but don’t truly repent, and then repeat the same sin over and over. David learned to repent as soon as he sinned, and God blessed him with much favor when he did. 

Stones of Blame, Guilt & Shame

There are times when we think we know the answers and quickly pick up stones to cast them at those we feel are guilty and need to be punished.  Having what we think is evidence doesn’t give us the right to judge others or pronounce them guilty. Jesus reminds us of that in John chapter 8 

The Pharisees thought they could trip-up Jesus into sinning when they presented a woman who was caught in adultery. They knew the Law of Moses said that this kind of sin called for her to be stoned.  Testing Jesus they asked Him what He thought should be done.  I love, love, love what the Lord did!   

Without answering them He bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger.  At first it doesn’t look like much and the people thought perhaps Jesus didn’t hear them … oh, but He did! 

Standing up he posed a question to them by putting out His own challenge.

“He who is without sin among you,
let him throw a stone at her first.” 

As soon as He made that statement Jesus bent down again and continued to write in the dirt.  We aren’t told what He wrote, but as soon as the onlookers glanced at what He was writing they dispersed like rabbits on a chase.   

When Jesus stood up, He and the woman remained in the area.  Looking at her He asked, “Where are the people who accused you? Didn’t anyone condemn you?” 

Noticing they were alone she answered, “No one, Lord.”  Immediately Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” 

Christ isn’t looking for ways to pass guilt, blame or condemn us – we do that on our own.  He is giving us the opportunity to receive forgiveness and in return do the same for others without condemnation. 

On that day Jesus showed the woman who committed adultery tremendous grace and favor.  Not only did He offer forgiveness, He restored life to her by not allowing her to be murdered.  The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened, but I can imagine everything changed after that event. 

Repenting quickly allows favor to be restored in our lives!

If we are to build a relationship with Jesus along our journey, we can’t hold back when we’ve messed up; He already knows it anyway so why keep it a secret? 

No More Stones 

Something my husband and I have done as we’ve set out on our adventures is to collect stones (with permission) from each place we’ve traveled.  Over time it turned into a pretty cool rock assortment.  

When we first began gathering these treasures we sought out big rocks for our garden. As time went by they got a whole lot smaller and fit in the palm of my hand.  Rocks or stones are heavy to lug around and we soon learned we didn’t want to haul that kind of weight. 

It’s the same when it comes to stone throwing with the words of our mouth in tossing about accusations.  Blame, judging and being the accuser is what satan does, not God. We are to have no part of it, and when we do our lives become loaded down with hidden stones and baggage of another kind. (Revelation 12:10)

Now that the burden of blame stone throwing is resolved, my journeying will be more restful. The next time we trek out to worlds unknown I won’t have to do without my trusty traveling companion that I love so much (my cosmetic case … sorry Honey), that is if I remember where I stashed it! 

One more thing that is great about walking with Jesus is that He won’t dump guilt along the way, even in jesting.  The Holy Spirit reveals piece-by-piece things we need to correct so we can take care of the matter immediately.  It may not have been that big of a deal to some, but a load has certainly been lifted and I feel relationships have been mended. 

This Week’s Challenge:
Put Down the Stones 

There are things that we will find out about ourselves when we spend time with the Lord, some we may not be so proud of either.  May I remind you that Jesus wasn’t there to point fingers at my sins or cast stones for what I had done.  He was ready to forgive as soon as I confessed my sin of judgment and blame.   

Jesus isn’t looking for a place to blame, but to lighten our burden load and set us free to follow Him with joy.  Along our journey with Jesus we are to do the same for others as He did for us.

Our challenge this week has two parts.
First, ask God to show you hidden blame sins (baggage) that you may not have been aware of and still hold people accountable for something they may or may not have done (like in my case). 

Second, write down on a piece of paper or in the margin of your Bible at John 8:11 these things:
The date, the “blame crime”, the person you accused and that forgiveness was given by God’s grace and favor. 

Learn to be quick to repent and you’ll see how quickly favor is restored in your Journey with Jesus. 

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Until next time, repentance opens doors to God’s favor!

“I quickly give My favor to a clean heart.”
Jesus Christ

*The names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy.

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.

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by Andy Stanley

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
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Image:  Chess Game  Stone Throwing
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