Are you carrying too much weight?
A number of places in scripture describe our calling and ministry as a race. It’s a race we should run to finish, and a race we should run to win.
Nobody gets a prize for starting a race. There are no prizes for doing well until halfway. A race is never about how you start. It’s always about how you finish. Only people that finish a race qualify for a prize.
When athletes compete, they always wear lightweight equipment because in the natural, extra weight makes it more difficult to win. What about spiritually? Is your race more difficult because you are carrying things that slow you down?
“Let us throw off every weight that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us….”
SOME WEIGHTS MUST BE THROWN OFF
- Ephesians 4:25
“Therefore each of you must put off lying and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
Most Christians do not blatantly tell lies, but many times we withhold truth in order to avoid confrontation. When someone has offended you and asks, “Is anything wrong?” it’s a lie if you say, “No, nothing.” We think that if we ignore or avoid the truth, the thing will go away peacefully, but in reality, the lie becomes a weight that slows you down.
- Ephesians 4:26
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
When anger is allowed to fester inside you, it will lead you to sin – through harsh words, unforgiveness, resentment and desire for revenge. Be sure to offer forgiveness to anyone who has offended you, daily, and if possible seek reconciliation. When anger is stored up overnight, you wake up the next day with a weight that you should not be carrying. A day should never end with you harboring anger against anybody.
- Ephesians 4:28
“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to give to those in need.”
People steal because of covetousness. They want something someone else has and will steal it if they can’t get it lawfully. Covetousness is a weight that will slow you down. The biblical remedy is, “Give to those in need.” Always be on the lookout for opportunities to give. When you are regular and generous in giving it breaks the spirit of covetousness. It lightens your load.
- Ephesians 4:29
“Do not let any corrupt words come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful (ministers grace) for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
“Corrupt words” are those that are cutting and harsh. They weigh you down and disqualify you from finishing the race. We will give an account before God for every idle word, so we need to make sure that our words minister grace. Our words should help and not hinder, heal and not hurt, lift up instead of break down.
- Ephesians 4:30-31
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
Bitterness, anger, rage and the like grieve the Holy Spirit who is, “Our Helper.” We accomplish things in life, “Not by our power or might but by the Spirit of God.” It is the power of the Holy Spirit that breaks yokes and lifts burdens, but when we grieve Him, we cannot depend on His help or His power and we end up carrying burdens that he wants to lift. They become weights that slow us down.
- Ephesians 4:32
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Kindness and compassion makes your load lighter. Forgiveness takes a weight from your shoulders. They free you to run, endure and win the prize.
SOME WEIGHTS MUST BE SHARED
- Galatians 6:1-2
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
We need each other. There are times when you need the support and encouragement of somebody else to help you with burdens that slow you down. When you carry a burden alone, it has power over you. When you share that burden you break it’s power, especially when it is some form of sin that nobody else knows about. The power of sin is in its secrecy. When you break the secrecy you break its power.
That is why, as a Christian, you should be involved in relationships and fellowship with people who love you and whom you trust – people to whom you hold yourself accountable, and people who take responsibility for your spiritual progress. When you share your burdens and they help you bear them, the weight you carry becomes lighter and the race you run becomes easier.
SOME WEIGHTS MUST BE SURRENDERED
- Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Some weights must be put off and laid down. Some burdens can be shared. Some just have to be surrendered to Jesus.
Is there something in your life that is hindering you? Is there something that you have tried to lay down, but have not been able to yet? Jesus invites you to cast it upon Him. He wants to exchange your heavy load for his yoke that is easy, and his burden that is light. He cares so much for you that when you come to him and surrender your cares, anxieties, stresses and burdens to him, Jesus does the hard work and carries the heavy load. He takes the weight from your shoulders, and gives you rest, while you carry a load that is light.
- 1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.