I mentioned a couple weeks ago that John and I had preached together on relationships. Specifically we talked about the baggage we bring that can weigh relationships down.
Years ago we were crossing the border between Israel and Egypt. Yeah, there was a tiny bit of tension…
Anyway, my suitcase went through the TSA scanner and we were waiting for the OK to go ahead, but a couple of soldiers kept staring at the X-ray screen, talking animatedly and using hand gestures that didn’t look particularly encouraging, especially when they called over reinforcements and then pointed at me saying “Come here!”
“What is THAT?” they asked pointing to a shape on the X-ray picture.
In a less than brilliant moment I said “Gee, looks like a gun to me!”
John rolled his eyes and pretended he didn’t know the crazy woman in front of him.
No, it wasn’t really a gun and I’m here to tell about it so you know I didn’t end up rotting in a Sinai desert prison. But my point is that we’ve got to look in our baggage for the harmful stuff. The “guns” that are going to get us in trouble in our relationships.
In the message we talked about unpacking our baggage with Jesus first, and then with each other.
I thought I’d share a video we used to introduce the sermon and some questions I posted afterwards.
- If you were one of the characters in the skit, what baggage would others say you carry?
- Fear and defensiveness are often indicators of baggage. Think of some situations in which those emotions come to the surface.
- In the sermon, we talk about the verse “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). We are perfectly loved, forgiven, and redeemed. Take a few minutes to turn to Jesus in prayer—confess and ask for healing where you need it.
- Consider if there is someone close to you—someone safe—with whom you could talk about the way your baggage may be affecting your relationships. If you’re married, take the courageous step of talking to your spouse.
Three spiritual practices we talked about that are important in the process of unpacking our bags are:
- Listening deeply (without trying to fix)
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry .(James 1:19)
2. Confessing your sins to each other.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)
3. Questioning for better understanding. “You seem really upset. Can you help me understand where that (anger/fear/sadness) may be coming from?”
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. Colossians 1:9
Which of these might you try in a relationship today?