Carrying around the baggage of life has only one effect on us: it wears us out. If we want rest and peace from God, we must be willing to put down our baggage.
The Discussion Starter:
The Skit Guys have done it again. Best friends – and ministry partners – Eddie and Tommy have put together a compelling video that painstakingly illustrates the affect that our baggage has on us. Throughout the clip, we see Tommy picking up bags that weigh him down and burdens his soul. We see him struggle to try and rid himself of them, but he only hurts others in the process. Finally, Tommy learns that Jesus is the only One who can offer him peace and rest.
The preview video can be found online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlTzgTW3WaE
The same clip is available for purchase at: http://www.ministryflix.com/producer/skitguys-view_all-7392.html
I love how the Skit Guys make life so visual. I don’t know about each of you, but for me, this clip paints a picture that hangs way too close to home. I’ll be honest, I’ve carried baggage in life. In fact, if you’ll be honest with me, you’ll have to admit that you’ve carried baggage, as well. Sadly, some of you in here right now may still be carrying baggage. During our time together, I want you to understand and embrace the truth that Tommy spoke about in that clip. I want you to know that carrying baggage in life has only one effect on us: it wears us out. That’s the bad news. But there’s good news, too. We can have rest and peace in life…but we can only get that from God if we are willing to put down our baggage.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and whether we’ve ever had our baggage lost or stolen on a trip.
- ASK A FEW: What is meant by the term “baggage”?
- ASK A FEW: What were some of the things in the video that led Tommy to pick up all the baggage?
- ASK A FEW: What are some of the biggest reasons in life that cause you and me to collect baggage?
- ASK A FEW: What baggage are you carrying?
- ASK A FEW: How does our baggage affect us?
- ASK A FEW: Why is our baggage so hard to get rid of?
- ASK A FEW: What does God want us to do with our baggage?
Read the following passage:
ASK A FEW: What are some of the things in this psalm that are dependent upon God?
ASK A FEW: Twice in this short passage, David says that he finds rest in “God alone.” Why is that?
ASK A FEW: Verses 3 and 4 paint a grim but accurate picture of David’s reality. Let’s face it; David’s life wasn’t perfect. He had killed, he had betrayed, he had committed adultery, and his family life was often in turmoil. What kind of baggage do you think David might have been carrying because of all this?
ASK A FEW: What were the two things that David had learned about God (in the closing verses)? How does that impact our baggage? (Leaders – This is the key question. God is loving and strong. He alone can handle the burdens that we carry. He is able [strong] and willing [loving] to carry our burdens for us.)
ASK A FEW: Even if you know nothing about David except what is printed in this psalm, based on these 12 verses, what advice do you think David would give to you and me concerning our baggage?
ASK A FEW: If you never turn your baggage over to God, what do you think your life will be like? If you do, what will it be like?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is keeping you from dropping your baggage at God’s feet?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What baggage are you going to give to God in the coming week?
Psalm 62:1-12 (NIV)
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David. My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. 3 How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down-- this leaning wall, this tottering fence? 4 They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Selah 5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah 9 Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. 10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. 11 One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, 12 and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.
If you choose to do the closing activity, you will need pens and slips of paper for everyone, as well as one suitcase.
We watched a powerful clip about baggage during our time together…and I really hope you don’t think we’re talking about suitcases and backpacks. We’re talking about guilt, shame, regret, fear, loneliness, and all those other negative things that accompany our sin and failures in life. One thing’s for sure: there is a lot of baggage in life.
We all have it. Every single one of us has baggage. Every morning when we wake up, we unconsciously pick up our baggage and head out the door. Unfortunately, that baggage weighs us down, and even hurts others in our lives. Carrying around all that baggage not only slows us down, it brings us down. As long as we’re carrying around baggage, we aren’t living the life Jesus had in mind for us.
But the good news is, we don’t have to carry that baggage forever. Isn’t that awesome!?!? We have Jesus’ permission to put it down at any time…and leave it there forever. In fact, if we want rest and peace from God, then we MUST put down our baggage.
Let me remind you of Jesus’ invitation to every broken, guilty, isolated sinner in the world.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
After reading that, my question is simply, “What are you waiting for?”
Before we close in prayer and go our separate ways…with our baggage…let me give you the opportunity to act on Jesus’ invitation. He said to take HIS yoke and find rest for our souls. That’s a great deal. We give Jesus our problems and He gives us rest.
Each of you should have a piece of paper and something to write with. While we play some music in the background, take a moment to write down all the baggage you’re carrying in life. Just take a moment to think about all the junk you walked in here with, and write it down on the paper. There’s no need to write your name on your baggage paper; after all, you’re leaving it here tonight. When you’ve finished writing, simply fold up the paper, and bring it to the front so you can put it in this suitcase. Then just return to your places and quietly pray, asking God to help you truly leave your baggage with Him.
After everyone has had a turn, I’ll close the suitcase and pray for us.
As always, though, if you need to talk to someone about your baggage, please hang around after we’ve prayed so that you can speak to me or one of our adult leaders. You’ll be glad you did.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith