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baggageI have gotten many letters that basically asking the same question, “How do I keep from chasing someone off with my fears and baggage from my past?”

That’s not an easy question to answer. We all have baggage and many times it seems like there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it. There is a scripture that has always meant a lot to me that says for God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind. To me what that means is that fear is not of God and therefore not of good.

Now we must be careful in understanding the word fear because it is translated in so many wrong ways that we get it confused. For example, there is no such thing as fearing God. The proper translation in that case is to revere or treat with reverence or respect. So to be taught fear in any way whatsoever is not good. What the scripture says is that we are born with a powerful spirit capable of a love so great that it can bring soundness to our minds no matter what we go through in life.

Paul says in another place that it is for that reason that love never fails us. So if we are all hurt and damaged by love, then how is it that love never fails us? In one of my newspaper columns I wrote: “Love will let you love anybody. Love will let you compromise everything you believe in. Love will let you make a fool of yourself. Love will let you love somebody more than you love yourself. Love will let you get beat up within an inch of your life. Love will let you believe your life is not worth living without a certain person. Love will let you give up your whole life so somebody can live off your work Just like a gun can be used for justice or for murder- love loves nothing about how you use it; and love don’t love nobody. It is only about how and why you CHOOSE to use love that makes the USE of love something that is good or bad.”

But those are all the bad examples of love. Now let us talk about the kind of love that says “For God so loved that he gave…” or that “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” You see the thing about fear and baggage is that in our fear we devote ourselves to a master that we truly despise. Now I am not trying to Bible thump you because that is not me, but I give wisdom its due no matter the source. James wrote that adversity presents an opportunity to grow in wisdom and that if any of us lacks wisdom that we should ask of God who gives to each of us according to what we are prepared to listen to. He gives in love and without criticism. But James also warns that when you are given the answer and choose to reject it, your life will remain unstable not just in the area of your fear but in ALL things. “A double minded person is unstable in ALL their ways.”

The key to baggage and fear is to allow yourself to grow in knowledge and wisdom to help yourself and to help others. Christians are taught that by accepting Christ you will get a Crown of Glory when you die. But James talks about how facing your fears through trials and adversity, you will receive a Crown of Life. That Crown of Life is a reward for RIGHT NOW. It is that peace that passes all understanding that says whether you were raped, abused, lied to, disgraced, or lived a life you wasn’t proud of, when you join your life to growing in wisdom, you are yoking your baggage and your burdens to the love of God and they won’t feel so heavy anymore. If that’s not where you are at. If that’s not what you are doing, then yes you will chase people away because they got their own baggage and fears and can’t carry the full weight of yours too. But when you embrace a path of wisdom, it heals you. It makes the apologies you seek from others unnecessary. It makes you pray for them and move on to the life you were meant to live and the royalty of your crown becomes untarnished. Only then can you find an equal in spirit with which to walk, not with perfection, but in healing truth. -NEO BLAQNESS

SEE ALSO This Little Light of Mine