The word around our house for the past several weeks has been ‘PURGE!”
Allied is coming five weeks from today to load our earthly possessions and move us North Texas. So, for the past month we’ve going through stuff that we neither want or need to move. What a process! Sorting. Separating. Discarding. Keeping. Leaving. Purging!
In fact, among old papers I discovered a 1974 invoice from Allied when we moved from Kettering, Ohio, to Palmetto, Florida. We had 8100 pounds. The current estimate is just under 20,000 pounds. So, we’re purging the excess that will lighten the load. Save moving costs. Allow more space in our new home. Simplify our lives. And eliminate clutter.
During this process it occurred to me there are other kinds of purging that will improve our lives. Lighten our load. And remove excess baggage that weighs us down. Encumbers our freedom. Hinders our progress. And impedes our development.
While many people today engage in physical purging to cleanse the body and remove toxins, spiritual purging is necessary to cleanse the soul. The Bible teaches us that Jesus “purged our sins” when he died on the cross and ascended to the throne of God (Heb. 1:1-3). Sin is a heavy load that weighs us down. Only the Lord can provide the purging power to eliminate this terrible weight and remove the deadly toxins.
In David’s prayer to Jehovah following his sin with Bathsheba, he pled, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Ps. 51:7)
Mental baggage keeps us from thinking clearly. Or understanding correctly. It may be the wisdom of the world that characterized the Greek culture. Paul warned of those who allowed their own reasoning from seeing the simplicity in Christ. Intellectual baggage may fill out minds with useless information. False information. Or preconceived and prejudicial information. Purge your minds of intellectual baggage so your mind can think on the things of God.
Emotions are powerful. They drive us. Or drain us. They motivate us. Or demoralize us. They can take us to exciting highs. But also to depressing lows. The Bible often speaks of controlling our emotions, through sobriety and self-discipline. The sins of anger, wrath, envy, jealously and bitterness have to do with improper emotions. And they create a burden that is difficult to bear. Paul admonished the Ephesians and Colossians to “put off” these things.
There is a great hymn by John M. Moore, Burdens are Lifted at Calvary, about removing emotional baggage. Sorrow and care. Worry and fear. Trouble and heartache. These feelings cause excess emotional weight. They hinder growth and harm relationships. Purge them! Bring them to cross.
Bad behavior is often excused by saying things like, “that’s just the way I am.” Or, “I’m only human.”
God wants us to model our lives after Jesus. To live as He lived. To walk as He walked. To talk as He talked. He gave us a behavioral example. But when we saddle ourselves with sins of the flesh, with habits that hurt us, and with addictions that alter our minds, wound our emotions and harm our bodies, we have acquired baggage that we need to purge.
Intellectual, emotional and behavioral baggage negatively affects us spiritually and impacts our relationships. With our family. Friends. Co-workers. Church Family. And most of all with our Heavenly Father.
Begin today to purge the excess weight. As the Hebrew writer expressed, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Purging will make your load lighter. Your journey easier. And ensure safe passage to your eternal destination.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman