Why is baggage so dangerous?
Let’s have a closer look at this bag which I call our old nature. What is it about this bag of pain that makes it so dangerous and disabling? If it’s just a historical record of sin and injury how can it continue to hurt us after we are Christians? Doesn’t the Bible say that “all things have become new (2 Cor. 5;17)?” After salvation can’t we just turn ourselves in a new direction, say goodbye to the past and move on “forgetting that which is behind (Phil. 3:13)?” If our past is forgiven and “covered by the blood” how can it be of any relevance to the present?
These are very common questions which I asked myself years ago when I began to get involved with emotional illness. I am still asked these questions by Christians who don’t understand why people like me are involved in helping people find emotional freedom.
They assume that at the moment of salvation everything is fixed and we just press on in victory. Anyone who stumbles along the way are dismissed as weak, undisciplined, poorly motivated, disobedient, carnal Christians. These well meaning Christians have created a climate of condemnation and shame which prevents Christians from admitting that they need help. The problems with the old nature are then only suppressed and “swept under the rug.” This of course guarantees that the person will remain struggling with their old nature and never come to the freedom that God intended.
Satan loves this characteristic of Christians to shame and condemn each other. He encourages it at every opportunity. When Christians do his work for him, Satan couldn’t be happier.
The bag contains chains
The reason that the bag of our old nature is so dangerous and disabling even after we have become Christians, is that the bag contains the chains of emotional bondage. Our souls become so contaminated while we are in Satan’s kingdom that our emotions are damaged and are chained up so they can’t be free to enjoy the blessings of our new life in Christ. These very heavy and encircling chains have to be broken for us to be free of our old nature and to have healthy emotions.
These chains of emotional bondage which tie us to our old nature do not automatically drop off at the moment of salvation. As I have already pointed out, we enter God’s kingdom with this bag. It is God’s intention to break our chains and set us free once we enter His kingdom. There is one condition of this process however, that can block a person from receiving the freedom that they are entitled to.
This process is voluntary
To come to freedom from our old nature and our emotional bondage, we have to want to be free and we have to allow God to break our chains. It is possible and surprisingly common, to be a Christian your whole life and never be free if you have not allowed God to break your chains.
This article is excerpted from “Emotionally Free” by Dr. Grant Mullen