Over the Christmas holidays, I thought it would be a good idea to de-clutter and clean our 3 bedroom townhouse. The plan was to spend 5 days cleaning each room, the garage and our living space. So I ordered a 6m skip and to my surprise we were able to fill a majority of the skip with the things from our home. I learnt two things from the experience a) I might be married to a “hoarder” (joking, kinda) and b) our townhouse is not as small as I’d once thought. Because when we laid to the side and remove all things that decluttered our world, we could easily see the state and size of our house.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
In Hebrews 12, the author of the book of Hebrews writing to the Jewish Christians informs them to “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us” (Heb 12:1b). That is to say that there are things in our lives that obstruct our view of Jesus and if we are truly going to run our race of faith effectively, we need to first lay aside every sin that easily trips us up and clean our house.
Below are a couple of things I think we need to lay aside to ensure that we can run our race effectively:
Little White Lies
Most of us would agree lying is bad. However, I have discovered that the lie that many of us tell is the ‘little white lie’. You know the little white lie, the lie we say in order to protect the other person’s feelings. The truth though, is that whatever the reason we tell a little white lie, a lie is still a lie.
“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth”
Proverbs 12:22 (NLT)
Proverbs 12:22 does not say that the Lord detest ‘BIG’ lies, or that the Lord detest ‘bad lies’…instead it states that “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth”. You see the problem with lying is that it is designed to protect the liar from the thoughts, opinions, judgments and consequences set by others. In other words lying makes us focus on ourselves and not on Jesus. If we are going to successful keep our eyes on Jesus and have the supernatural empowerment for our race then we will need to clean the house and lay aside the little white lie.
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too”
Mark 11:25a (NLT)
What is unforgviness? Unforgivenss is holding a grudge against someone. It could be a small grudge, big grudge, a deserved grudge or undeserved grudge. It could be a grudge because of something they said or something they did not say. It could be a grudge because of something they did or something they did not do. Whatever the reason might be for the grudge, unforgiveness is holding a grudge against someone and in essence Mark 11:25 states that unforgiveness hinders us from keeping our eyes on Jesus through prayer.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that we are justifying what they did to us, nor does it mean we have to trust them again. Instead it simply means that we are letting go of the grudge and ensuring that it does not come between our relationship with God. I don’t know who might have offended you or how they might have wronged you but I do know that if we are going to effectively run our race of faith we need to practice forgiveness.
Let’s be encouraged to spend some time this week to clean our spiritual house and lay aside everything that easily entangles so that we can be effective run the race of faith. Because we are all in need of a spring clean every now and again.
The best is yet to come!