"Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
True emotional health frees us from our past to live joyfully in the present. For many of us, this joy is hindered by ‘emotional’ baggage. Emotional baggage is a metaphor of holding a volatile mix of negative and unprocessed emotions that we've acquired throughout the years in battered old baggage. These feelings comes from people, places, behaviors and experiences from our past that still have a negative impact our present. It impacts how we deal with life situations and relationships. In our childhood, we start to carry an emotional Fannie pack. As we enter adulthood it becomes extra-large suitcases and difficult to carry.
Pastor Pete has counseled hundreds of people in his ministry. From a spiritual perspective, this emotional baggage morphs into something bigger and heavier because deeply entrenched parts of our past has not been touched by the power and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of forgiveness, peace and acceptance, we have baggage bursting with anger, restlessness and regret. Jane, for example, is a member of a Sunday school class. She was abused sexually by an uncle as a teenager. Today, twenty-five years later, whenever an authority figure gives Jane suggestions or constructive criticism, she gets defensive and withdraws. She is unaware of how unexamined past chains her to unloving, disrespectful ways of relating in the present.