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Throw Off Every Weight… and Run

By Tracy Moore, Guest Contributor

In scripture, the Christian life is compared to running a race (1 Cor 9:24). And if you’ve ever run a race, you know one thing to be true: you don’t want to be carrying unessential weight and gear.

Why? Because those things are hindrances, they would slow you down and make it harder to run. 

They are also distractions. Imagine trying to run a 5K race while carrying extra items – maybe some pots and pans, a laptop, a book, and a snack. It would be hard to concentrate on running the race well while also managing all those distractions.

The same is true for long-distance backpackers. Some backpackers even drill holes in their toothbrushes to get rid of extra weight! Is this extreme? Maybe to someone who doesn’t value the backpacking journey, but it shows how seriously the backpacker takes his journey.

In Hebrews 12:1, the Christian life is compared to a race, and we are told to "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (ESV).

The idea is that sin can be like a weight weighing us down as we run the race of the Christian life. This is why searching our hearts and confessing and abandoning sin in our lives is so important; sin holds us back from spiritual maturity and flourishing.

But this could also apply to other ‘weights’ in our lives that may not be sin, yet which also prevent us from running our race well.

Is there anything in your life that keeps you from intensely pursuing Christ? Are there distractions that take your eyes off the prize of finishing well?

Do you need to drill some holes in your toothbrush?

The answers to these questions are personal for each of us, but we can take each ‘weight’ to God and ask for help and self-discipline to throw it off so that our attention and time can be more focused on him.

“Like foolish hikers who load their backpacks with heavy trinkets and complain that the path is too hard, are Christians who weigh themselves down with worldly loves and grumble that the faithful Christian life is just too difficult.” Brett Baggett

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