We're in the midst of spring cleaning here at our house. And with the urge to clean also comes the urge to de-clutter; everything from books to clothes to toys to household items. Anything not being used gets put into the bag destined for the local thrift store. For some reason, I feel as if have to de-clutter each room of the house before beginning to spring clean it. It's as if all the clutter is weighing me down, preventing me from making any progress in the cleaning department.
It reminds me of Hebrews 12:1: "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." The children and I were discussing this verse last week. I explained to them 2 things. First, I told them that the writer of Hebrews compares the Christian walk to a race. Second, I asked them which type of race would be easier to run: one where each runner had a to carry a weight (like kind their dad uses when he lifts weights), or a race where the runner doesn't have to carry anything. They knew the answer.
The Greek meaning for laying aside is to "cast off". The New Testament commentary by William McDonald says, "We must strip ourselves of everything that would impede us." And "weights are things that are harmless in themselves, and yet hinder progress; they could include material possessions, family ties, the love of comfort, etc.." and the sin mentioned in this verse is "..sin in any form.."
So, what about us? Are there things in our lives that we need to "lay aside" in order to grow spiritually and "run with endurance"? Let's cast it off, and "press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)