“Let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance—every unnecessary weight—and that sin which so readily clings to and entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1, AMP)
Every year, in races such as the Boston marathon, thousands of people sign up for the race who have no intention of winning the race, or even finishing the race. They like the thrill of being in the race and the cheering of the crowd, but they never seriously trained to win the race. So they’ll jog 5-10 miles, and quit the race.
Then there are those who run the race to win—they take their training seriously. They know that if they’re going to win the race, it’ll take discipline, diligence, determination and sacrifice. They know that there are a lot of things they’re going to have to say NO to—things that are not bad in themselves, but they’ll keep you from running the race to your full potential. Any runner who is serious about winning the race knows how important it is to strip down to the barest essentials—to eliminate anything that would SLOW them down or TRIP them up!
Sin has a way of wrapping itself around our feet and tripping us up. All of us have a sin that consistently trips us up: gossip, anger, lying, sexual sins, rudeness, laziness, overspending, greed, pride, complaining, worry, jealousy, fear and so on. If you’re going to run the race of faith to win, you’ll need to strip off every “encumbrance” (lit., “bulk or excess fat”) that would hinder your progress and burden you down, and every “sin that entangles,” i.e., something that wraps itself around your feet and trips you up. »»