“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
This passage shows us that we are not alone in our struggle, in fact we have a cloud of witnesses who are cheering us on. The witnesses are those who have struggled and gone before us, who are now seated in heavenly places cheering us on. Or so I like to think. But the thing that really got me was the part that says “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles.” What are those things that hinder you? What are the sins that you keep finding yourself tangled in?
For me, the thing that hindered me was my outlook on relationships. Now, relationships aren’t bad but if we have the wrong perspective of them then that have the potential to hurt us and others. Growing up in a broken home, I witnessed my mother work two jobs to support us as a single parent. In fact, she did a great job because we all grew up well and with morals. However, in her hard work, subconsciously I internalized that I would always have to exert myself to the point of exhaustion because a man was undependable. While my mother never outright told me this, witnessing her life taught me to believe. As a result, I took on the mentality that men could not be trusted and that they will never stay, so I must be super independent and a strong black woman. What a tragedy to think this way.
If we base our relationships off of the images we see while we are developing, we are stabilizing on rocks. Have you every tried to run a trail with a lot of rocks?It’s not as smooth as a fact surface is. Basically, you expend more effort not to fall, and try to depend on nothing but yourself because you know that the ground you’re on cannot be trusted. Well, that’s the same thing that happens in relationships. We grow up with unrealistic or in many cases amplified ideas about relationships and people and we hold them hostage to them while simultaneously pointing the gun in our own faces because deep down we really know that this thinking is wrong.
Due to my past relationship mentality I used to task men with the duty of making my life better. Since I didn’t get this growing up or that growing up, you must do it. I would reason that it was their rightful duty if they wanted to be with me. In essence I was being needy because I never took the time to heal from those past wounds and traumas. Now, I have to work actively to throw off the old mindset and renew my mind with what the word says about relationships. If you don’t know what the bible says then I suggest that you take the first step and start studying it because you can’t have a healthy relationship without it.
As far as the sin that easily besets us. This means that sins that we almost willingly fall into. So, for instance, because my hindrance was relationships then the sin was sexual immorality. So if a bad relationship mentality were a frame, then the picture was sexual sin. Get it? Generally the hindrance and the sin are linked, if they are not already one. So I urge you to examine yourself and your life for those things that seem to rule over you. You’re more than a conqueror and you can win!