Friday, March 30, 2018
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OK, backpacks are basically a good thing. They make it possible for you to carry some essentials while you keep your hands free, right? But backpacks are not always a good thing, especially when you forget you're wearing one! I've seen a lot of the dangerous side of backpacks in airports and airplanes. See, you get used to your body ending at a certain point, and you navigate through a crowd knowing where the "oops, I bumped you" point is. Now you add a backpack and suddenly you have enlarged what is commonly known as your space, but you continue to navigate crowds and narrow places as if you had the same old parameters. So you turn around and "aahh, Oh no!", you clobber someone behind you or next to you with your backpack! I mean, its one thing to carry your load, it's another thing to hit someone else with it!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about, "Smacked With Your Backpack."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Peter 3:9-11. We've all got some baggage-the emotional kind that is. The question is, is the baggage you're carrying hurting other people? First Peter 3:9 says this: "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing . . .'Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.'"
And then verse 15 tells us why it's important to not do or say things that will hurt other people or cause conflict; why we should have positive talk, wholesome talk, why we should pursue peaceful relationships and doing good for people. Here's the reason. First Peter 3:15, "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. . ."
Now, what is going to attract people to your Jesus? Well, it says your hope. They're going to want to ask about your hope! They'll be curious about what makes you such a positive person, a joyful person. But they're not going to see hope if you keep hitting them with the negative stuff you're carrying. Maybe you're carrying a backpack full of stress and pressure and you're stressing out everybody; you're dumping your stress on them!
It could be that your backpack is full of victim feelings and people around you just keep getting hit with your self-pity, complaining, anger. That's what they get when they get near you. Or are people getting smacked with your critical mouth, your negative attitude, your all too frequent bad moods? It's one thing for you to be carrying that load around, but you're going too far when it's hitting other people!
God uses words like "keep from, turn from," to describe what we ought to do with our negative sinful baggage. Actually, someone else wants to carry your backpack. Later in this book, 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your care upon Him because He cares for you." The Lord Himself is asking, "What are you carrying all that for? Why don't you bring it all to me? Lay it down at My feet. Let Me carry it."
If you'll let go of that stuff, you can become the hope person you're called to be so that lost people around you can see Him. They desperately need to. They need to see hope, not heaviness. You probably didn't mean for your attitudes to hit anyone else, you might not even be aware of the hurt sometimes, but this is a wakeup call.
Too many people have been smacked with your back pack-usually the people closest to you. Once you've given your load to your awesome Savior, not only can you stop hitting other people with your load, you can actually reach out and help carry theirs!