All of us have areas of our lives that don’t fully conform to God’s plan for us. It is the gap between our knowledge of God and our daily practice and the fact that we are even aware of that gap is the ministry of the Holy Spirit who gently nudges us toward conformity to Christ.
Often the reason we have not confronted these areas of our lives is that we have not had the courage to face the issue – or the courage to get serious about resolving it. Courage is the operative word because admitting to ourselves that our unattended baggage must be faced, named for what it is and resolved takes real personal courage and significant resolve. It takes courage to look sin or areas of great deficiency in the eye, strip away our rationalizations and avoidance techniques, name it for what it is and confront it head on.
These issues may be health, financial, moral, relational, ethical or spiritual. They may be public issues or private issues. Once we are aware of our unattended baggage, it dogs our conscience and thinking until we agree with the Holy Spirit that it is time for us to resolve it.
Knowing and resolving are not the same. The first is a gift of the Spirit to get our attention. The second is courageous resolve to bring that area of our lives under the supremacy of Christ by addressing it. And no effort to move closer to God’s best for our lives goes unnoticed in the heavens and the same Spirit that brings unattended baggage to our attention gives us the ability to start dealing with it. It is then our responsibility to develop a plan by which we are going to deal with our issue. A plan is more than good intentions: it has concrete steps we are going to take coupled with evaluation points. And, hopefully a friend who can pray for you and encourage you in the process.
As Christian leaders we have even greater responsibility to deal with unattended baggage since we call those we lead to do the same. Our personal credibility is built on life authenticity and courageous engagement with our own issues.