God bless you in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, to whom we look as we run the race set before us.
When I played basketball in high school, I used to wear a leaded vest and ankle weights during preseason practices. However, when the season started those weights were removed and never used again. Being free from those weights allowed me to jump higher and run faster, and I could feel the difference.
In the race we are currently running it is just as importance to remove all weights that would limit us in our competition. Hebrews exhorts us, saying:
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. . . .
You know, it’s one thing to run a race with nothing on your back, but running a race with a 100-pound backpack on is much harder. Most of us wouldn’t get very far. In fact, weights like that will prevent some people from ever reaching the finish line. However, if we take those weights off, we can run the race that is set before us much faster and win.
In order to run this race effectively we have to set aside every weight. That means we have to make decisions to do something about the stuff that is slowing us down. Those weights are not just sin we need stop and repent from. Weights can be people, places, or things — anything that hinders us in our race. The Bible talks about how all things are lawful for us, but not expedient for us (I Corinthians 6:12). There may be things that are not sin, but they’re not helping us either — and, generally, we know what those things are.
Everyone’s weights are different. Your weights may be different from mine. The challenge we face today is to look at our own life and see what’s weighing us down. What weight still clings to us. Is it procrastination or some other bad habit? Is it too much television, wrong friends, or some ungodly relationship? What is it that takes priority over the things of God?
Every weight requires a decision. We must determine what we want out of life. We may have to tell ourselves, “I can’t do that, or I can’t go there, or I can’t be around that.” Just remember that our responsibility is to do whatever is necessary to win this race set before us. So, let’s get rid of every weight; they will only slow us down.
Let’s run to win! The next verses show us how. We do it by looking unto Jesus, considering him and enduring chastening. Check it out.