Hebrews 12:1 – “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,”
The writer of Hebrews pictures the believer as a contestant in a race. He speaks of besetting sins that hinder our progress, but he also gives a special tip on how to run the race successfully in the eyes of God. He says to be victorious we must “lay aside every weight.”
Some things are not necessarily wrong in themselves, but they keep us from more important endeavors. We may be wasting precious hours in unprofitable reading, or spending too much time in sports or social activities, so that it cuts into our prayer-life, our Bible study time, or our Christian service.
If we are in earnest, we must cast off anything that hinders us from attaining Heaven’s highest rewards. The Christian has to run unimpeded by the things of the world, sacrificing even certain legitimate pleasures, if he wants to gain the prize of God’s special approval – 1 Cor. 9:24,25 – “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”
Years ago in the Alleghenies a large eagle was shot by a hunter. When he examined the bird, he was amazed to find that one of its claws was held firmly in a strong steel trap from which dangled a 5-foot chain. Although not heavy enough to prevent the creature from flying, the additional weight had wearied the eagle and brought it down within reach of his rifle. So, too, the Christian can be entrapped and brought low spiritually be encumbrances which make him incapable of rising to the heights he might otherwise attain.
Is there any time-consuming thing in your life which is becoming a spiritual weight to you? Lay it aside lest you miss the Savior’s “well done” and the victor’s crown at the end of life’s race.