At one point Jesus was kind of cornered by some religious leaders, and they were asking him how do you sum up the entire bible, what is the greatest commandment. And in Jesus’ day we have to know there were about 633 commandments they made from the 10 commandments, Jesus said I’ll do you one better than that, I’ll boil them down to two main commandments. #LoveGod and #LovePeople (the first and second commandments). It’s very easy for someone to say go out and #LoveGod and #LovePeople, but a lot of times we don’t know how to do that. It’s not that we don’t want to do just that, but we can’t Love them (whoever it may be family, friend, coworker, etc), at least not in the crazy passionate love kind of way that the Bible is truly referring to. And that reason is because of ‘Baggage’. Baggage can be anything from jealousy issues, self-esteem issues, unforgiveness/bitterness issues, anger issues, pride issues, taming of the tongue issues, etc.
In John 17:20-26 Jesus is praying to God. Right there we have to think this is very important, I mean it’s Jesus, he could be praying for anything, and this is his prayer.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me….25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
He said, I’m going to pray that some how all those who believe in me and for those in the future who will believe in me (which is talking about us – Jesus prayed for you) will move together and flow together in community and love as one, and he goes on to say the way in which they love one another will be proof of my existence and my character.
*The way we relate to each other, is reflective of God
God created us in his image. God is a relational God. He creates community within himself, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Everything he created was created in community and is all intertwined, the mountains, the sun, the moon, the galaxies. God created for us to live in this loving context of community. God is a relational being and if we are going to reflect that, we have to live in the context of that love and that is community.
Jesus said, the proof that you are my follower and proof of my character is that you love one another. I think that the reason we have a hard time sometimes to love people is baggage and it’s keeping us from living out the commands that God has called us to, to #LoveGod and #LovePeople. And by not doing that, we are not reflecting God the way that we are to reflect him. Your baggage is what’s keeping you from reconciling with your parents, your baggage is what’s keeping you from calling your sibling this afternoon, your baggage is what is keeping your marriage from ever moving beyond mediocrity, your baggage is what makes you jealous and makes it hard to celebrate when others have success, its your baggage.
There is hope, It’s God’s desire for you to have freedom. We have to realize it may be a battle and may take time. We have to be Honest with ourselves with the junk that we may have in our lives. Whatever it is in our lives we need to be honest with ourselves and give it to God. If it is unforgiveness, we need to let it go and forgive. Even though it may be hard, that is the first step to healing, giving it to God. If we are dealing with trust where we have hurt someone. Confession to God is a start, but take a look at Matthew 5:23-24
23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” God not only tells us to ask forgiveness from him but to reconcile with our friends and family. The bible also says in James 5:16 “16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” It may be scary and tough, but it is clear and simple of what we are to do, and trust that healing will come. When dealing with Envy of others, we see so many things commercials, ads and everything this day in age of the world telling us what we need and want, when God tells us what we really need is Him and his love and contentment in that. Seek that first. With all of what the world is telling us everyday what we need, a good start and reminder of what we really need would be to focus our thoughts on one message a day from God and his word. No matter how put together someone may seem and how much together we think they have it. We all need healing. We all need each other and we all need freedom and we all need God.
For us to begin to love like God has called us to love, for us to reflect God the way we are called to reflect him, we need to be honest with ourselves and begin the healing process in our lives by facing the Baggage we may have picked up somewhere along the way. We need to face the Baggage and start the healing process what ever that may be. I recommend, in what ever situation you are in, to take that Baggage problem and talk to your pastor about a good way to start the healing process. Get God’s word on the situation and begin heading towards a life of freedom.