Can I ask you a personal question this morning? During the lockdown, did you add a few pounds to your weight? Or kilos if you think it sounds better? I must confess to a 3 kilo extra burden, and the despatch of three pairs of jeans to the local recycling point – I just can’t understand why they shrank so much in the wash! I changed the battery in the scales just in case, but to no avail. Someone I know reckons that the average lockdown weight increase has been about a pound per person per lockdown week. Why is it that the pounds go on quickly and easily but take forever to remove?
In the Book of Hebrews, chapter 12 it says, “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.”
Every athlete knows that to win a physical race he has to achieve a peak level of fitness, which includes being just the right weight. And it is the same with our spiritual race. Are we carrying too much baggage? What will weigh us down through our walk with God? What sin is tripping us up? What about all the anxieties and cares that are clamouring for attention from our thoughts? Are we being weighed down by religiosity, denying the freedom of the Holy Spirit in our lives? There are many hindrances and weights that can creep into our lives and any one of them will hold us back in our Christian walk.
One weight that holds back many a Christian is the habit of looking backwards, to the “good old days” when everything seemed to be so much better than today. But the Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 4 to, “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. Athletes don’t look back – they fix their eyes on the finishing post. And so must we. So Christian, don’t give up! Start a diet and get rid of those extra pounds.