Hebrews 12.1-2 follows an incredibly uplifting, yet also sobering, account of God followers in history past. Men and women are said to have “put foreign armies to flight,” escaped the edge of the sword,” “stopped the mouths of lions,” “killed with the sword,” “sawn in two,” and these are men and women “of whom the world was not worthy.” Then in chapter 12 the connection is made: “Therefore…let us also lay aside every WEIGHT and SIN which clings so closely….”
Sin is the easier of those two hindrances to talk about because it refers to those obvious actions and attitudes which run contrary to the nature and character of God–as revealed in Scripture. Lust, gluttony (one we aren’t actually talking about in this post but should be at some point!), stealing, lying, envy, greed, blasphemy, gossip, etc…. A sin is a sin is a sin–call them mistakes or slip-ups if you will, but the gravity of such offenses is not lost on God.
Weight is the more difficult hindrance here. We aren’t talking Biggest Loser weight, though that could certainly slow you down in the scheme of things. The word play, though, is significant (since we’re called to “run with endurance the race set before us”). In the biblical languages, the word “weight” is the same word as “glory.” So when you read “glory to God,” the idea is that proper and due weight/significance be given to God. Now take this understanding and apply it to Hebrews 12 and your life.
Lay aside anything/anyone who is holding weight in your life over and above God: that’s the essence of this verse (in my opinion of course). God is meant to be the weightiest, heaviest reality in our lives. So the question that follows is simple; namely, what or whom in your life is stealing glory/weight from God? These things tend to be morally neutral, meaning they aren’t necessarily sinful.
For me, one weight I constantly must set aside is sports. Yep. Especially badminton–that one is my downfall. But seriously, I get swept up in sports, watching on television I mean, to the point that I’ll be angry at the television or find myself scheduling my day or even week around a certain sporting event (Lindsey really loves when I do this). Sports aren’t wrong in and of themselves, but when have I ever scheduled my week (or even a day) around communing with God? Maybe it’s not sports for you, but it’s a relationship, a hobby, your job, your daydreams, material possessions…it’s something.
Everyone carries excess weight that doesn’t need to be lost, but instead should be redistributed to God and pursuit of more of Him. What excess weight do you carry?