One of the reasons why we have so little influence with those outside the church is because we are experts at condemning those who are on the outside while cutting slack for those who are on the inside. When people outside the church see us do this, it is no wonder that our light has become a flicker and the salt has lost its flavor. The same exact thing happened to the church at Corinth. And to make matters worse, everybody in the church knew about the problem, but nobody was doing anything about it. The result? The character of the church was compromised, and its witness was weakened. The church needed to lose some baggage. When a church today is in that same situation, there are three steps it must take.
The truth of the matter is, most of us have some type of baggage we carry around with us all the time that we need to lose. This baggage weighs down our relationships with our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. It all too often destroys marriages, dissolves friendships, and damages our ability to relate properly to God. But the encouraging news for those of us who are tired of carrying it around is that we can lose our baggage. And not only can we lose our baggage, but we should lose our baggage. As followers of Jesus, we have been called to a higher standard in our relationships with others. We have a witness to maintain. We have a reputation to guard, because we don’t just represent ourselves; we represent the Lord. So, if we are going to represent Him well, we must take the necessary steps to lose our relational baggage.