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Lighten Your Load

February 13, 2013

After all the stuff we have collected in 44 years of marriage, my wife is talking about “decluttering” our house. Webster’s Dictionary does not contain this word, so we must assume that it is recently coined.   Nevertheless, we discern what declutter means: i.e. house cleaning and discarding.

Just as closets need cleaning out and garages need to be tidied up, the souls of Christians frequently need to be  purified and restored to holiness. One of the many exhortations for saints is II Peter 1:16. Paul the apostle tells us how this may be done in Romans 6:12-13; 12:1-2.

Let us return to the previous article’s text, for there are several great lessons in these Bible verses.

“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, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)

If our goal is to complete our trek to heaven and live in  the mansion prepared for us there must be times when when we find ourselves, overwhelmed, slowed, and even sinking  because of the terrible burden of sins, false beliefs, and evil habits that we have allowed  into our hearts. We did not intend for these things to harm us or retard our spiritual progress. However, the steady  accumulations of decay will overwhelm us if not dealt with. We are in danger of sinking and falling short of our destination.

The first words of this chapter picture spectators watching a sporting event. The participants  are bolstered by the crowd of the heroes of faith who encourage the Christians in the contest to endure. We are told  to  “lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely”.  Have you ever noticed that  marathon runners do not compete  in galoshes and overcoats? No, they are clothed for running an endurance race. So we must regularly check ourselves to see that we are not carrying items that impede us and discard them.

Then the writer directs our attention and affection to Jesus, “the founder and protector  of our faith.” Jesus is worthy of our love and obedience (Revelation 5:12).  Jesus stated, “I  am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6). On our pilgrimage to heaven, we must set the proper course: into the waiting arms of Jesus.

What are these barnacles which adhere to our souls? The apostle Paul loved making lists: some of sinful things and others about virtues.  There are two lists of sins you must read: Colossians 3:5-11 and Galatians 5:21-23.  Get rid of these two lists of vices.  When you read each one, keep reading and you will find a list of virtues with which the vices should be replaced.

Decluttering is not enough! Refurbishing is repairing the damage done by sins and evil habits.

  1. I can relate to this, in the physical sense. But, I also see the need for us to declutter our lives of things that have crept in, and may steal our joy and put us on the wrong road.

  2. Larry permalink

    Yes! Very good insights. Now, if I can only do it.–Larry

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