“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”
Christianity is simple. I’d say Christianity is mysteriously simple, and quite beautiful. But, it isn’t easy.
This passage was front and center today. The writing of Hebrews seems to be saying in another way what Christ said during his earthly ministry, “If you hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” If you have something in your life that is causing you harm and impeding your progress in Christ-likeness, get rid of it.
If something in your life is out of balance and now functioning as an idol, remove it. Maybe the “thing that hinders” is a job, a relationship, or a hobby. Maybe what hinders is the fear of what others think of you, or the incessant feeling that everyone elses’ life is better than yours (those posts on social media are not real, but the edited and carefully selected examples)! Only you and I can determine what that “hindrance” is for each of us.
When I was discussing this passage with my students, I told them how amazing it is that even when we get tired of reading our Bibles, the Bible never gets tired reading us. This passage, for example, reads the same way to each of us, whether in our teens or thirties. But, the implications and applications are different. I told them this passage and the “hindrance” that needs giving up might be different throughout life, but this passage will continue speaking the same truth: we must cast off hindrances and move towards holiness. For, without holiness, we will not see the Lord.
Following Christ is not complex. Christ essentially said, “Follow me. Do what I do. Say what I say. Love and live how I love and live.” There probably should be no confusion. Christ also knew, though, that simple doesn’t equal “easy.” He said simply following him would be like death on a daily basis. A number of people had opportunities to follow Christ but gave up due to its’ difficulty (not its’ complexity). We (Me) must be honest with ourselves and remember we too could find ourselves taking the path of least resistance.
May the Lord empower us to follow him. May the Lord enable us to see those things that truly hinder our walk with Him. Then, may he support us and embolden us to do what needs be done. Amen.