“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, Looking unto Jesus…” Hebrews 12:1-2
On the last day of the year, most of us are thinking about, if not talking about, so called “New Year’s Resolutions.” And in a majority of cases, weight will be on the list somewhere. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance the weight on the scales lies heavier on our conscience than the weights the writer is talking about here in Hebrews. Granted, they may be one and the same, but not necessarily. A number on the scales may or may not be a consequence of gluttony, the only part of weight that constitutes sin. But, as I say, they may be one and the same. Here’s something to remember: All sins are weights, but all weights are not sins; but both have to be laid aside. This is the truth of the verses.
An easy way to think of the difference between weights and sins is that sins are always wrong, anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances, no matter who commits them; while weights may be a blessing or a curse, depending on the individual or the circumstance. For instance, Jesus said, “If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee…” (Matt. 5:30). Yet there’s nothing sinful about the hand (or the eye). They can be, and many times are, instruments for blessing and good. There are hundreds of things in life like this that could never be called wrong, yet to some of us they become burdensome and hindering in our service to God. Sadly, the real ambiguity of it may make us hesitate, saying, “I shouldn’t feel so bad about it; so-and-so does it all the time, and look how blessed he (or she) is.” But it’s not just great sins that ruin lives, it’s also “little” weights that stop us dead in our Christian tracks. Life can become such a drag that we relegate ourselves to the sidelines, letting others, perhaps less qualified, run the race.
But, you say, that’s all well and good, but what can I do about these “little foxes that spoil the vines”? (Sg of Sol. 2:15). The formula is found in the text: Lay aside the weights and look to the Lord. Once God has revealed to you a weight in your life (and never let others make this judgment for you, and vice versa), lay aside the offending weight, purposefully, looking unto Jesus, the great Emancipator. Mark it down, as long as you look at the weight, you’ll never have the heart to lay it down; and it will never seem so dear as when you resolve to relinquish it. But take heart! the One who laid aside the splendors of heaven to redeem the world is able to pry loose the most clinging shackle in our lives.
So, will you admit you have a “weight” problem; and will you take the challenge with me to lay aside the weight and look to the Lord? God only knows what you and I may face in the coming year, and we need to be spiritually fit for it. By God’s grace, we can run the race…all the way, where the One who made it all possible will be waiting to welcome us over the finish line.