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Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:1

Most are familiar with the Roll Call of Faith in Hebrews 11. There the writer encourages his readers to remember those who have gone before, running the race of faith. As the next chapter begins, the writer quits referring to life's past athletes and turns his attention to God's present-day dream team, us.

This verse challenges us to lay aside both the weights and sins that would slow us down in the marathon of God's service. As Christians, we know something about sin. We know sin as the don'ts of the Bible and understand why sin would hinder--if not stop us altogether--from accomplishing God's will. But what are the weights that the writer mentions?

The weights are those things which, although they might not be sinful, would still slow us down. Christians are faced with many opportunities today which are not necessarily bad, just time consuming, energy draining, and mind diverting. They are not sins, but they could become weights.

Because life is a marathon and not a sprint, we do have to consider the big picture. God tells us that rest and recreation are needful (Mark 6:31). He has also given us a family that needs our time and attention (Ephesians 5:21). And He wants us to take care of the temple that He has given us (1Corintihans 3:16-17). Even so, we must practice the dedication and determination needed to complete the race of life in a standing that would bring glory to God.

Remember, while every sin is a weight, not every weight is necessarily sinful. Don't pack what you can't run with.