Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1, 2 NLT)
We all sin. The Bible is clear on that. The only sinless man that ever walked the earth was Jesus Christ, God incarnate. But even knowing that we may slip up sometimes, our goal should still be to live a life without sinning. Sin starts with a thought which if not dealt with at its root will quickly grow into an action. And one momentary action can quickly turn to a habit, a way of life. (One of my favorite songs is “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns. “It’s a slow fade, when black and white has turned to gray.” Listen to it sometime.) We need to daily pray for Gods guidance and intervention in our heart so that hidden faults do not turn into deliberate sins. (Psalms 19:12-13*)
The Bible says that we have a cheering section. A cloud of witnesses that have lived life, with all its struggles, and have come out on the winning side. So as we run the race of life in their footsteps we need to cast off the sinful things that weigh us down and chip away at our endurance. Things like pride, envy, greed, lust, etc. … Things that quickly consume us until suddenly we find ourself living a lifestyle of sin. When we notice that something like this has crept into our minds, we must pray about it and redirect our focus to godly things instead. And if we missed the chance to catch it early and we suddenly discover it has become a full fledged sin in our life, we must call it what it is – sin – and repent immediately.
But how do we do it? How do we get to the end of the race without our sins slowing us down? By keeping our eyes on Jesus. He started it all and left us with clear instructions and the perfect example. And most importantly, he left us with the Holy Spirit to guide us. We’re not in this alone!
*How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. (Psalms 19:12, 13 NLT)