Has it ever occurred to you that you may be weighing more spiritually than you should?
Well, consider the contrast. Most folks tip the scales more than they should. I know I do. According to medical charts, I am supposed to weigh only 170 pounds.
But, it is not my fault I weigh so much. I once tried a faddish diet plan calling for considerable consumption of artificial sweeteners, and it turned out making me artificially fat. I have recovered somewhat, however. My weight is now down to what I swore I would never get up to.
But, while it is not healthy to be physically overweight, it is considerably unhealthier to be spiritually overweight.
In much the same way our doctors encourage us to drop the weight, so does the Word of God. The writer of Hebrews exhorts, “Lay aside every weight.” In so many words, the writer is directing us to discard the weight of excess sinful baggage that overly burdens us in our Christian lives.
What spiritual poundage are you carrying that you should drop?
Fear is one factor that adds unnecessary weight to our lives. People live in daily fear for one reason or another, even though Christians have no need to grow spiritually fat with fear.
After all, fear makes the mind feel heavy. Fear adds emotional heft to the shoulders. And, it is no wonder, since people feed on fear so much, particularly right before going to bed at night. “God has not given to us the spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind.”
There was a time when I was six years old I dreaded having to go to bed at night. I was afraid of going to sleep. For some unknown reason, I thought that there was a rattlesnake under my bed. It was a major issue for me at that time, despite personal assurances and inspections by Dad.
If by chance during the night my hand and arm hung over the side of the bed, I was sure that the rattlesnake would bite me. For a while, I did not sleep very well. As a consequence, I had a hard time staying awake in school, and I did not feel like playing.
One night, after dozing off, I awoke with a jerk because I found, to my horror, that my hand and arm were draped over the edge of the bed.
But, as I lay there determined not to go back to sleep, it finally occurred to me that I had not been bitten. The only explanation in my mind was that perhaps there was indeed no rattlesnake at all under my bed.
So, I decided to look for myself. It was a cautious approach to be sure. Yet, I discovered there was absolutely no rattlesnake. I felt very foolish for having such a fear.
Furthermore, sinful practices add unnecessary spiritual weight to our lives.
Whether people want to hear it or not, God specifies lifestyle principles in His Word, which, when practiced, are not only healthy for us physically, but healthy for us spiritually.
Thus, it seems apparent that sinful practices are quick to make us spiritually fat because of getting fat on activities with the world and, by contrast, deliberate inactivity with the things of God. If we are not active with God, spiritual weight is going to quickly accumulate in our lives. The fatter one becomes with sin, the more susceptible one becomes for heart failure with God or breakdown in spiritual strength.
The writer of Hebrews not only says to drop the weight, but he also says, “And (drop) the sin which doth so easily beset us.”
When we drop the spiritual weight of sinful practice from our frame, we then become svelte with peace. You know, you look absolutely gorgeous with a peaceful countenance. We become curvaceous with the joy of the Lord. Our hearts remain lighter through the under-girding of God. You cannot help but feel better with God because of it.
It makes a difference for us to spiritually weigh according to the chart of God.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.