“...let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us…” Hebrews 12:1
In baseball if you get three hits out of every ten at bats you’re called a “300 hitter.” This is considered good, very good. So even though you make an out seven out of ten times you’re considered a great hitter. This is okay for baseball but it is not good in the Christian life. I fear that many believers think batting 300 as a Christian is good, very good. When we settle for an average Christian life we end up accommodating sin.
The writer to the Hebrews tells us to, “lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us.” He says, “every weight.” He goes on to say, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” The analogy is obvious. If I am running in a race I don’t want a bunch of weights hanging all over me encumbering my progress. If I am running to win I lay aside every one of those weights and free myself to run well.
By associating these “weights” with sin he makes the application clear. We are to live our Christian life (run the race) sin free! We all know that we cannot be perfect so how can we live up to this Biblical admonition? We do that by keeping short sin accounts with God. That means that when the Holy Spirit uses the word of God to expose my sin I need to lay it aside immediately by confessing and forsaking it, knowing that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin (1 John 1:9).
Allow me to ask you a question. Are you “weight free” or have you settled for being “mostly weight free?” Is it possible that you have bought into the thinking that if you are being obedient to God in most areas of your life...in some areas of your life that you’re doing good, real good? God’s math works this way: If you are not obeying God in every area of your life you are not doing good. “Be holy, as I am holy” God says. “Walk before me and be perfect” God said to Abraham. “Walk in the light as He is in the light” the apostle John wrote and “if you say that you have fellowship with God and walk in darkness you lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6, 7). So, where did we come up with the idea that obeying God most of the time is okay? We certainly didn’t get it from God’s word. Let me give you a few possible reasons for our “mostly obedient” thinking.
• Comparative thinking. “I’m doing as well as most other Christians.” • Diminishing God. “God loves me the way I am. He’s okay with the way I live.” • Blame shifting. “If my life wasn’t so hard...if I didn’t have so many difficult people in my life I’d do better.” • It’s wrong to judge: “You’re judging me...and the Bible says, ‘Judge not.’” • Fitting in. “It’s important that I fit in. I need to be accepted.” • Cultural thinking. “Times have changed...the way we live today has changed.” • Divided loyalties. “What I’m doing meets my needs. God expects me to be happy.” • Shallow repentance. “Maybe I haven’t dealt with everything but I have dealt with some things. That counts for something, doesn’t it?”
Whether or not I mentioned a reason that applies to you or not (the list is probably endless) know that all reasons for accommodating sin are nothing more than excuses. Change begins when we take responsibility for our lives and stop blaming others, blaming our circumstances or blaming our past and take God seriously about what He says in His word. No, you cannot change yourself but you can bring your life to the One who can change you. He and He alone is able to clean us up and give us the grace and strength to do that which is right.