Sometimes living the Christian life is pared down to what we can do and what we cannot do. We look for Divine dos and don’ts and try to stick to them, so either so we don’t get into trouble with God or so we can make Him happy. It is definitely okay to see out what the Bible says not to do and avoid it, but overall, this isn’t a healthy Christian lifestyle. When we approach life this way, we consume things that may not be good for us just because the Bible doesn’t specifically say not to. That’s like eating anything you see, so long as it isn’t labeled poison. Sometimes things aren’t labeled bad for us but still are, both spiritually and physically.
What the Bible actually tells us to do is to not consume or carry anything that will slow us down, whether it is a sin or not. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” So we must first understand what race it is God has called us to do, and then we must get rid of anything that keeps us from running that race well. Sin is an obvious problem and is mentioned, but so are weights. Weights can be anything. Dating the wrong person can be a weight. Even if that person is another Christian, if they would keep you from your God-given race, they’ll weigh you down. The wrong school, career, or house can be a weight. They may tie us down somewhere God hasn’t intended us to run. If we are to run with excellence, we must shed the weights. Some runners may train with weights on their ankles and wrists, but when it comes to race day, you won’t see competitive runners wearing them. They get rid of all excess weight, so they can run as fast and as far as they can.
Here’s the thing about weights: they aren’t sins in and of themselves, so they can be harder to spot. But God commands us to lay aside our weights, so we can run, so when we fail to do so, they do become sins for us. The really hard part is that, like our sins, sometimes we just love our weights and want to hold onto them. We find safety, comfort, and fulfillment from them sometimes. But we have been promised those things in God if we follow Him. So lay them aside.
What’s weighing you down or holding you back from being who God wants you to be today?