The worst part of traveling is dealing with baggage. For many, the worst part of living is dealing with the baggage that we carry around from our pasts. Too many people carry around with them a sense of guilt and shame about something that’s in their rearview mirror. This guilt and shame can be crippling. What if we can begin to trust God with our past as well as our future? What if we can get rid of the baggage that we carry around? We could then experience more of the better life that Jesus promised.
1. God had been very gracious to David. David was overwhelmed at God’s grace and generosity for a while, but in time he became distracted. What is the danger when we become distracted and no longer feel a great sense of gratitude in our lives toward God? How can gratitude towards God keep us where we need to be and doing what we need to do?
2. David heard Nathan’s story and became angry because he was really angry with himself. Have you ever found yourself angry at someone and later realized you were frustrated with yourself?
3. Do you think people really believe that there is no failure so great that God’s forgiveness isn’t greater than? Why or why not?
4. David had done many things wrong, yet scripture says he died of a ripe old age and with honor. Do you think Christians do a better job at commemorating wrongs than celebrating what’s right?
5. In Psalm 51, David prayed to God, and God took away his sin. Why do so many hold on to sin that has been forgiven and that God has taken away? Why do we tend to hold sin against ourselves more than God does?
6. When you think about the great men and women of faith in the scripture so many have checkered pasts.
Abraham trafficked his wife and slept with another woman.
Jacob was a con man.
Moses killed a man and ran away.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Peter denied Jesus three times.
Jonah was racist.
Paul persecuted Christians.
Why do you think scripture records the ugly along side of the beautiful? How should this impact our lives, knowing many of the great men and women of faith have things in their pasts worse than our own?
When you find yourself tempted to relive the guilt and shame of your past mistakes, flip your perspective. See where you used to be and what you used to be as a monument of God’s grace. Remind yourself that you are more than your worst moment and biggest failure. You are God’s son or daughter, and you not condemned. You are forgiven, cleansed, and justified because of Christ.
Psalm 103:8,10–12 (NIV) The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love…he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.