I have gained an extra ten pounds this last month. Let me assure it is not weight that I needed! I feel sluggish and have lost energy. Admittedly, I have earned this weight by what I have chosen to eat (or should I say gorge!).
My weight gain has reminded me of a couple powerful verses found in Hebrews 12:1&2, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” This passage depicts that we are running the race of life and do not need to be hindered by two things:
- “Every (meaning extra) weight” which slows us down and tires us out. Weight is a performance inhibitor. The author is saying in the spiritual realm to get rid of things that encumber our Christian life. Let’s stop and list some examples…selfishness, busyness, laziness, self-righteousness, bigotry, diet, anger, envy, jealousy, selfish ambition, discord, etc. As long as you have things in your life as the above list, you will be weighted down and ineffective in your spiritual life. This begs a question. What is hindering you as you run the race?
- “Sin which clings so closely.” This literally pictures a runner covered by a heavy, wet, too long robe that continues to “cling” to and trip him/her up as they run. This sin can also be translated “entangle.” Let’s list some examples: addictions to alcohol, drugs or food, control, fear, depression, worry, anxiety, people pleasing, etc. What are the things entangling you keeping you from living out life in a full and free manner?
The author then says to “lay these aside.” Get rid of these sins! I recognize that this is easier said than done. First, seek God for strength in prayer and from His Word. There is supernatural power realized from both of these. However, if you see that you are entangled in a sin pattern that is stronger than your ability to throw it off, get involved with an accountability or recovery group. James 5:16 declares, “16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Once you “lay aside” the sins that hinder and/or entangle, then, you can “run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” What a beautiful, wonderful, liberating race it becomes when you have broken free from weighty, entangling sin!