Sunday, 9 September 2012

TRAVELLING LIGHT


Many of us have emotional baggage that we lug along even after we have become believers. How do we travel light? 

What are the weights we should lay aside in order to run the spiritual race without any hindrance?
                                                                         

We are told to lay aside every weight and our sins as well – so that we can run the spiritual race, looking to Jesus as the perfect example (Hebrews 12: 1-2).*

These weights may be the bitterness, resentment, anger or unforgiveness we hold against someone who has offended us – emotional baggage.


                                                                   
Sometimes we think that “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new creation; the old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17). But actually the ‘new creation’ refers to our born-again spirit, not every area of our lives.

Like old plumbing, our emotional disorders still have to be fixed – even though we have been saved. In effect, this means we have to shed this excess emotional baggage if we are to run without any hindrance in the spiritual race.

As we go through life, painful experiences will inevitably be etched in our memories. The human brain comprises 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) embedded in a mass of glial tissue. In many ways superior to a computer, the brain processes thousands of thoughts in a day.

Whereas computers have a ‘delete’ function, there is no corresponding ‘erase’ button we can push to rid ourselves of unwanted and unpleasant memories in our brain. These memories continue to haunt us for a lifetime.

But no matter what burns in our memory, forgiveness is one of the important keys in overcoming our inner pain — forgiving the one who has wronged us. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act of obedience on our part in response to God’s word.

The world says, “You must get even. An eye for an eye.” But we have to demolish such thoughts, taking them captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). By doing so, we do not allow anger to fester (Ephesians 4:26) or bitterness to take root (Hebrews 12:15). We are told to put off the old nature, put on the new nature and be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:22-24).

It does not mean we condone the act of injustice inflicted upon us. But we do it (forgive) anyway. It not only restores our relationship with the one who offended us but also restores our fellowship with God. But most of all, we stand to benefit in many ways —physiologically and psychologically.

When we align ourselves with God’s word, that we are to forgive as we have been forgiven by Christ, we will experience release and healing.

Footnote: *
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).


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