Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Laying aside sin is something all Christians are called to do. But notice how in this verse it not only directs us to lay aside sin, but “every weight which so easily ensnares us.” Too often we neglect this truth and try to step as close to the line as possible without actually sinning. We become trapped in a rut of asking, “Is it a sin?” or “What’s wrong with it?” These questions are in no way the right ones to be asking ourselves. So, what should we be asking? Hebrews 12:1 clearly states to lay aside anything that slows us down. The questions we should be asking ourselves are: “Does it help me run?” and “Does it get in my way when I’m trying to become more like Jesus?” Just because it is “not a sin” and there’s “not anything wrong with it” doesn’t make it right. While Jesus does ask us to lay aside our sins, He doesn’t want us to stop there. He wants us to cleanse our lives from any distractions so we can “run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
After hearing this, you might be thinking how this looks like lots of loss. Maybe you feel God telling you to give up something, but you don’t want to. Well, I have something to tell you. There are many times I find myself struggling to let go of worldly pleasures. At times, it is even painful to give them up. But I can promise you one thing: the pleasures of this world are nothing- absolutely nothing- compared to the place Jesus is preparing for those who love and follow Him (1 Corinthians 2:9). Yes, it will be hard to give up your fleshly desires. Yes, it may feel like loss. But over time, God will take the feeling of loss and turn it upside down. In the song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” Helen Lemmel gives a wonderful example of this:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace.”
When we let go of our sins and every weight that stands in our way, it may feel hard at first. But slowly the enjoyments of the world will grow distant, and God will shine brighter in your life. So let’s lay aside every sin and every weight, and let’s run with our Savior.