“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.” Hebrews 12:1
How many of you make New Years Resolutions? How many of you can remember what your resolutions were last year? If you do remember them, how many of you have kept up with what was on your list? My guess it not many! Recent research says that only 8% of people actually keep their New Years resolutions.
One of the top three most popular New Years Resolutions every year has something to do with getting in shape and/or losing weight. You may have made one of these resolutions yourself: run three times a week, stop eating sweets, lose 15 pounds, start going to the gym 4 mornings a week. After such a delicious holiday season, it’s not a surprise that with the start of a new year, we’re all ready to get serious about fitness.
But what if this year, instead of worrying about the number on the scale, we instead thought about a different type of weight that is dragging us down? Hebrews 12 says that we should “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” We are all carrying around a ton of extra baggage, often a heavy load that really presses us down. For each of us, this extra weight is almost like an invisible backpack we pick up each morning…others may not see it, but it is always with us, packed full of the “stuff” that is just heavy in our lives.
What might be in your backpack? The list is endless: anger, sadness, bitterness, jealousy, an unforgiving heart, grief, hurt, discontentment, feelings of just not fitting in, embarrassment, shame, pride, fear, a works-based attitude, comparison…the list could keep going.
God calls us to Himself, not to a list of resolutions that we are going to try really hard to accomplish. God calls us to set aside the weight, this backpack full of the things we insist on carrying around with us. The ending part of Hebrews 12 says that we are to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” – what is that race? It is a race running towards Jesus, fixing our eyes on Him.
We have freedom this year to really lose weight – the weight of what has been dragging us down! We can make one resolution this New Year – He is our resolution! Dropping the weight, turning back to Jesus, and running towards Him with all of our heart. Live in the truth and promises God has already given us – we are free from trying harder or carrying around the guilt. Live free this year!