6 Steps to Leaving Your Baggage in the Past

6 Steps to Leaving Your Baggage in the PastIs the baggage from the past getting heavy? Put it down! Baggage from past relationships, trauma, and childhood gets carried into the present until it is dealt with. This emotional weight strains a person’s mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health. Can God make a way to leave the heavy baggage behind? Yes. Here are six steps to take to lighten the load.

  1. Agree with God that there’s a problem from the past, and confess it.
    No one can overcome an issue until they acknowledge it. There’s a reason for every feeling—anger, joy, or bitterness. God’s word for “agree” is the word “confess.” To confess something means to agree that it is true. When it comes to baggage that is bothering an individual, they must recognize that things have gone wrong – either done to them or done by them – and agree with God or “confess,” that they have happened and affected them deeply. (more…)

Life Recovery Step 9: Make Direct Amends

Life Recovery Step 9: Make Direct AmendsTired of living in the shadow of yesterday’s mistakes? It’s not too late to go back and try to make amends.

One Bible story that teaches it’s never too late to make amends is the story of David and Jonathan—one of the most outstanding examples of friendship in history.

David and Jonathan were the best of friends despite the worst of circumstances. Saul, Jonathan’s father, was one of the most demanding challenges facing them. He ruthlessly hunted David and tried to kill him for years.Yet, Jonathan’s love for David was strong and didn’t diminish. So, Jonathan told him “Don’t ever withdraw your kindness from my household” (1 Samuel 20:14, CSB). As a result, David agreed and promised to show kindness to Jonathan’s family—including his descendants.

But David did not follow through as he had promised. (more…)

5 Tips to Avoid Compassion Fatigue

5 Tips to Avoid Compassion FatigueWhether leading, helping those who are hurting, or serving in some other capacity, the strain of exposure to those suffering can lead to compassion fatigue. Here are some easy ways to recognize compassion fatigue when it starts and take steps to avoid—or eliminate—it all together.

  1. Know your limitations.
    Recognize that everyone has a different emotional capacity to hold others’ pain and trauma. Each person must be aware of their unique threshold and know how it fluctuates depending on what is going on in their personal life. (more…)

Life Recovery Step 8: Be Willing to Make Amends

Life Recovery Step 8: Be Willing to Make AmendsMaking amends is painful. Doing nothing is painful. But nothing is as painful as keeping everything a secret.

In Life Recovery Step 8, it says, “We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Unfortunately, individuals stuck in addiction try to do damage control by trying to hide their addiction and not making amends to those they’ve hurt. Full of shame and self-condemnation, they avoid making amends at all costs because they think it’ll spare themselves—and those they love—from more hurt.

Here are four core shame-filled beliefs that keep a person stuck:

    1. “I am a bad and worthless person.”
    2. “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me.”
    3. “My addiction is my greatest need.” (more…)

Life Recovery Step Seven: Ask God to Remove Your Shortcomings

Ask God to Remove Your ShortcomingsIsn’t it humbling to realize that only God is God?

When someone is stuck in addiction, they think they know what is best. But remarkably, God frequently intervenes, humbles them, and shows them that He knows what is best.

Life Recovery Step Six requires one to be “ready to have God remove these defects of character.” So, Step Seven is even more challenging because it involves taking action; it says, “We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.” Without a doubt, Step Seven is hard—it takes relinquishing pride.

In Step Seven, one must ask God to remove the shortcomings they’ve identified and accepted in the previous steps. Any defects removed must be replaced with humility—this step involves a commitment to honesty.

If anyone had a problem with honesty, it was King Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible. (more…)