“Many Christians walk around forgiven but don’t know how to live free,” said a wise friend of mine. We all come to God with baggage or somewhere on the journey of life, we pick some up. Baggage impedes our ability live life to the fullest.
One of our biggest misconceptions about life is we assume those who are happiest have money, fame or power. People in those positions are sometimes the most unhappy. Happy or joyful people are not those without problems or live in luxury but those who have learned how to unload their burdens and live a baggage-free life.
You can’t outrun or outgrow your past; you must confront it.
Confronting your baggage may sound unbearable, but it is far easier than going through life carrying it.
In Luke 7 Jesus is invited to a banquet, hosted by a Pharisee named Simon. Jesus’ notoriety had begun to grow and His influence was spreading at a phenomenal pace. The invitation to the banquet may have been a means of finding out what this “Jesus-guy” is all about.
It was customary in Bible times when a guest came into your home, to wash their feet. The primary mode of transportation was walking. The primary footwear was sandals. The roads were dirty and muddy. Animals would travel the same roads, and their “droppings” would litter the roads. As a result, your feet would be extremely dirty.
While Jesus and the other guest are seated around the table, an uninvited, unnamed woman enters the scene. Luke 7:38 explains how she approaches Jesus from behind weeping and proceeds to wet His feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair.
Why did this mysterious woman commit such an extravagant and controversial act? It’s clear from the text that she had a previous encounter with Jesus.
When she heard that He was dining at Simon’s house, she did not hesitate to find Him. We know very little about this woman but of her reputation. She was a “woman of the city.” This phrase is used in the original Greek text in other passages referring to prostitution. The Pharisee’s abject response to her actions further supports the assumption regarding her promiscuous lifestyle.
At some point, she heard Jesus teach, and for the first time, she had hope. Hope that life could be different. With her history and baggage, how was she able to surrender it all and confidently approach Jesus?
Notice in Luke 7:37 how the Bible describes this woman. “37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner,”. The cross of Jesus Christ forgives your past, present and future sin. Your past and your baggage no longer identifies you. When God looks at you, He does not see who you were but as a new creation in Jesus Christ. If you have accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation and are living for Him, your past is irrelevant.
Compare this to how Simon, the Pharisee, describes her in verse 39. “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
There will always be someone who will attempt to diminish your progress by associating you with your past. Allowing guilt and shame into your life will limit God’s ability to transform you and marginalizing your worship.
Your past serves only as a gauge of God’s transformation in your life. When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave three days later, He erased your past once and for all. There is no reason why you should hold onto your past.
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
Make the decision today and every day to leave your baggage at the foot of the cross and look forward to the new life you have been given in Jesus! You are free indeed!