And you know what? When we decide to make that move into the kingdom, we don’t have to pack for that either. In fact, Jesus wants us to leave all our baggage behind. Not just our lives of sin, but all those biases that keep us from seeing clearly.
Sometimes I let the difficult times I have been through color my view of everything else. It can affect how I view my brethren, always expecting the worst and even looking for it. It can affect my faith so that I cannot totally surrender my life to God; I feel a need to “help Him out” just a little. It can affect my view of the kingdom itself, so that I want to protect it by building walls closer inside to help keep it pure, and even make me less than welcoming to others who need a haven. It can make me too sober, too serious, too unwilling to crack a smile and rejoice!
I may have fought some serious battles for the Lord, but that does not make me the only good judge of what is and is not good for the health of the kingdom.
I may have come from a religious group that does many things contrary to the law of Christ, but that does not mean that “what those people did” is the authority for deciding what God’s people cannot do. 95% of rat poison is good rat food; otherwise the rats would never eat it! So what we do may in some cases match what they do—the scriptural parts anyway.
I may have learned that a doctrine is unscriptural but that does not mean that a full 180 degree turn in the other direction is necessary. We often overreact just to make sure we do not do something wrong, and wind up being wrong in the opposite direction. The Pharisees were good at that.
I need to remember that I should come to Christ with empty hands, bringing nothing from the old life. Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold they have become new. All the old things have changed to new things. No old baggage to deal with any longer.
If I truly have faith in my Lord, I don’t need anything from that old life. It’s a little scary, but that is the nature of trust, isn’t it?
Peter began to say to him, Lo we have left all and have followed thee. Jesus said, Truly I say to you, there is no man who has left house or brothers or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel’s sake, but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the world to come eternal life. Mark 10:28-30