Sunday, November 06, 2005

throwing off that which hinders

more extractions...
In Hebrews 12, living the Christian life is likened to running a race:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith...
It is interesting to see that the writer does not say whether the [weights] to be thrown off are good or bad. They could have been very good things or activities that they were now being called upon to give up [...] the principle that is being explained in these verses is this: if at any time or in any circumstance the thing or activity gets in the way of growing like Christ, it is at that time or in that circumstance to be discarded.

When I travel overseas, I have never yet found a way to cut down on my luggage [...] I carry away and bring home clothes that I have never even put on. Generally, the overcoat I wear is stuffed with hankies and underwear to disguise the true weight of my carry-on luggage!

Our writer is saying something like this: "You cannot run in a race if you wear your overcoat and especially if the pockets are full. You might make it in a short dash, but the Christian life is a marathon."

He is calling on us to be rigorous in self-examination, and to understand that growing Christlike is so important that we should not let anything hinder it. It is possible to be hindered by some thing, which, even though it is not sinful within itself, nevertheless gets in the way of holiness. [....]

There is nothing wrong with spending a weekend at the snow. However, if it means leaving your Sunday School class without a teacher on Sunday, then you don't have to be a genius to know whether the good (going to the snow) has robbed you of the best (teaching your Sunday School class). Now it is possible to be sufficiently far-sighted to see that if you take on the task of teaching Sunday School you will never be able to have a weekend at the snow. To choose not to do Sunday School teaching for this reason is to stuff the overcoat with everything you own.


  1. hiya quop :)

    In the past when I read the verse you quoted from Heb 12, it was always the second part of the sentence, "let us run with endurance...", which jumped out at me.

    I guess becos then the main thing I always felt was that the race is tiring and long. I was like, let it be over, quick!

    Lately however, I am seeing also the importance of "let us also lay aside every weight". I realise, as you have pointed out, that simplifying one's life to its essentials really does help in running the race.

    And it's really not that bad after all...

  2. hey OC, i decided against playing another round of comments tag on mongchacha and am hoping you'll check back here instead :p anyways glad that you found the stuff i quoted helpful :) may you keep being unburdened as you persevere in running the race... till he returns, or calls you home... maranatha!

  3. heh thanks. Eh so when are you going to Sg/Malaysia arh? Got yr list of things to check out?

  4. will be there from just before christmas to just after new year. haven't settled too much on itinerary, other than having confirmed i have places to sleep :) got any suggestions? btw if you're not averse to the idea, you can email me via the links on the right - easier than carrying on a comments-based dialogue, ya? but either way works...