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Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV (emphasis mine)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Has God ever asked you to stop doing something that isn’t a sin per se, but is holding back your spiritual progress and may lead to sin? I believe this is what the writer of Hebrews refers to as every weight.
In my case, I’m dropping a couple of weights that are hindering me from running the race with endurance:
1) Conservative Talk Radio
I’ve been noticing lately that Christians in the United States have become politicized. By politicized I mean that our political views influence our faith, when it ought to be the other way around. Too many Christians have become culture warriors when we ought to be soldiers of Christ.
For me, talk radio was encouraging an Us vs. Them mentality that would hurt my Christian witness if I allowed it to take over. I stoked the flames of my anger more than anything else, and encouraged stress and anxiety in my life. Rather than seeing unbelievers as those Godless liberals or the enemy, I, and other Christians need to see them as Jesus saw them:
Matthew 9:36 ESV
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
This is not to say that I, and other Jesus followers, should steer clear of politics. It is to say that our political views should be influenced by our Christian convictions, but our Christian convictions should not be dominated by our political views. Our allegiance is to the Kingdom of God, not the Republican or Democrat Parties, or any other ideologies. We still need to stand strong for religious freedom and justice, and against abortion and moral decay.
2) most TV
I need to devote more time to other things, like reading the Word and other good books, praying, etc. Also, I can tell that when I watch a lot of television, I’m not firing on all cylinders. Something about just makes people dumb. I’m cutting out all TV except for Dr. Who. It’s my favorite show, and one of the few that isn’t filled with foul language and sex scenes.
Do you have anything that, while not an outright sin, is weighing you down? It’s time to lay it aside, friends.