What is Weighing You Down?

By: Woody Godbey

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us
— Hebrews 12:1

I have to admit what I hate to admit, I need to lose some weight. Yep, gained weight over the last year and I feel the effects on my knees and other parts of this old body. Time to shed some weight. The ancient runners would run a race almost naked so that they would be light as possible and not worry about getting tangled up in clothing. God’s desire is for you and me to be as free as possible from ANYTHING that weighs us down from living the Christian life that best serves others and glorifies him. This scripture reminds us that we are to ‘strip off’ anything that might get in our way or ‘tangle us up.’

Any competitor in an endurance event or race will tell you that it’s important to be as light as possible for the event. A marathon runner would not wear a sweatshirt. A bicyclist would want to ride the lightest bike possible. A mountain climber scaling a high cliff, that might take several days, would not want to be carrying any gear that was not absolutely essential.

In the same token, Paul encourages us to strip away anything that might prevent us from an abundant life including and especially our sin. Weights may not be sin, but they hinder us from running a good race. Our weights could be things or habits, an addiction, emotional eating, wrong thinking habits, lies of Satan, false guilt or shame, worry, bitterness, insecurity. These and other ‘weight’ can affect our testimony, hinder our spiritual growth and can also hinder our relationship with God, our-self, and others. In verse two, Paul tells us how we do this:

We do this by “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

God does not want us trying to do this ‘stripping off’ in our own strength or by ourselves. He wants us to keep our eyes on His Son and to live by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. This is how we run and finish the race of life well. This is how we rid ourselves of the sin that so easily besets or entangles us.

When we keep our eyes on Jesus and we live by the Holy Spirit’s power, we won’t grow weary or become discouraged. We will persevere. Let’s get some weights off! God Bless!