It's that time of year again when our faithful hound dog Roscoe P. Coltrain is beginning to shed...not that he ever stops. Basset hounds are known to shed their fur a lot but springtime is especially challenging. I took him outside yesterday and brushed him and got enough fur to carpet a bathroom. Then, I bathed him later in the day and got another large quantity. Following the bath, I brushed him again only to get another big batch of the fur. If only we could shed our sins as easily as Roscoe sheds his fur! Certainly that is what we are supposed to do in our Christian walk. We are to throw off our sins.
In the letter to the Hebrews, chapter 12 and verses 1-3, the author talks about throwing off those things which hold us back in our walk with Christ: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." I love these verses because in them there is so much truth.
Anyone who has ever run a race knows that you do not want to wear heavy shoes or bulky clothing. It slows you down as you press on towards the goal. Instead, a runner looks to find lightweight yet strong shoes for the race and cool, comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement. This makes sense to us when running. So why, then, do we want to carry around our burdens, our sins, our shortcomings when Jesus has set us free from them? We need to do what the author in this passage has suggested. We need to throw off the weight of life and lay it at the feet of our Lord knowing that He is the author and perfecter of our faith. As the verses tell us, Jesus endured open hostility from sinners that we who are chosen may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Like our dog Roscoe, we need to shed our sins as easily as he sheds his fur. Carrying them around only serves to beat us up, defeat us and bring our spirit low. Jesus told us in Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Since Christ broke the heavy yoke of sin, we no longer have that weight of guilt to carry around.
I welcome your comments and thoughts.