Excess baggage makes us stagnate through life and in our walk with God. Shame can be part of this luggage as we drag it through childhood into adulthood. Co-founder of the global anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign, Christine Caine, shared how we can reclaim lost freedom and overcome shame no matter what.
Let’s get started, and look at ways we can drop the emotional baggage.
We need to trust God she offered in her book, Unashamed if we're to fulfill our calling in life. Caine listed several points on trusting God, an important part of our faith in moving on past hurt. Learning to trust takes experience, repetition, failing, past mistakes, and taking a risk to follow what God has in spite of fear.
“God’s light is tender, not harsh,” she wrote. “As you trust Him with your pain, He will gently shine His healing light on all your wounds.”
Be honest with God as we need to come to him and confess our sins. When we release out secrets and inner most thoughts to God, He can come in and drive the darkness away.
“You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord's people, you are in the light. So you must live like people who belong to the light.” Identify all emotional wounds like unforgiveness, anger, hopelessness, self-hate, perfectionism, or hatred of people. This usually gives way to physical symptoms like aches, pains, headaches, or digestive issues.
We need to let go and talk to God about our disappointment with Him, or any anger there is. We can take these struggles to the Master for healing. Jesus died for our shame, grief, and sin--don't hide anymore.
“It was our pains he carried - our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him - our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.”
Being afraid to move on is understandable. Culture, family, friends, and the enemy can all influence and distort a positive perspective, creating a prison. When the Lord asks you to do something, the walls and the baggage you carry can sideline you. The shame process comes into play, Caine said.
Questions like “What if I fail?” or “Who will trust or give me a chance since I have no proper training?” These are walls to intimidate.
Try the word to counteract the taunts.
Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you.” God honors faith. The choice is yours to move past this pain! Choose to focus on Christ, not the hurt. This will change your perspective instead of focusing on the past pain.
Caine suggested that focusing on the resurrection power and viewing the future through a “resurrection lens” instead of the “shame lens” is profound.“I found that I no longer had to sit in defeat at the gate of shame, accepting this as my lot in life. I had the power to stand up and move past my past.” God has a destiny and a purpose for you. Find scriptures that support this change. Hanging onto them along with studying the word will be a comfort.
Psalm 138:3 “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Another scripture on encouragement is found in 2 Corinthians 4:16: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
We can embrace our destiny by using scripture as a map and a source of encouragement. Destructive behaviors can hurt our loved ones. It can break relationships and destroy families.
Make today the day you seek help, and make the decision to start the healing process. Psalm 107:19:21: “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”
We no longer have to dwell in darkness.