Welcome back friends!
Today we’re talking about sin and discipline. Very bright and happy topics I know!
To start off let’s take a look at verse 1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” I want to focus on the sin that so easily entangles. We are told to throw off everything that hinders us because there is a great cloud of witnesses. And if we remember from yesterday, we were just reminded that God has a perfect plan for us that will come someday, so this verse is reminding us to keep pushing and running the race until that day. So why does the author specifically mention sin? Wouldn’t that be included in the things that hinder us?
Now, obviously I am not the author of this book so truthfully, I don’t know exactly why it was written this way! However, as I was reading it my eye was drawn specifically to the phrasing of “sin that so easily entangles us”. I know for me personally at least, you almost forget that sin can creep into our lives SO easily! People who grow up in the faith tend to recognize (and hopefully avoid) what we term as “big sins”, don’t we? I’m talking things like sexual immorality, murder, drunkenness, etc… We are quick to recognize those and turn our nose up at them. But what about things such as lying? Or jealousy, anger, greed, anxiousness and impure thoughts? Sin is sin no matter what. When we ignore the “smaller” sins, that’s when they easily entangle us! The bigger issue is not that we are sinners, because everyone is and everyone has been offered the same grace. The issue is when we fail to recognize our own sin and shake it off in order to keep running the race.
And now that we’ve covered sin… we get to move on to the discipline. Yay?
Verse 6 reads “…Because the LORD disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” This is a common message that is still hard for me to grasp at times. God disciplines, corrects, humbles, however you want to word it, BECAUSE He loves us. He is working to create a righteous and peaceful life for us (vs. 11). Verse 8 even says that if we do not undergo discipline, we are not true sons and daughters!
I am not a parent, but I do have the joy of watching a lot of un-biological nieces and nephews, as I refer to them. I love my kiddos! Just the other day one of the kids I was watching kept trying to stick his finger in an electrical outlet. I continued to swat his hand away and tell him no. Not so surprisingly, he started crying with his head thrown back and huge tears falling from his eyes. Obviously, my intent was never to upset him, but I also didn’t care! I wanted to make sure he was safe and understood how dangerous that could be. I think God works in similar ways. He knows that our sins in our life are going to lead us to pain and suffering. When I was watching that little boy, I could not believe how frequently he went back to the same outlet despite my corrections, almost like he didn’t even notice I was steering him away from it! I wonder what God is thinking when we keep trying to go back to the same thing He knows is going to hurt us not matter how often He corrects us.
God loves us. He loves us as sinners and disciplines us in order to protect us from ourselves. He will one day give to us a kingdom that will not be shaken and because of that, we should worship Him with reverence and awe (vs. 28). In what areas of your life is God correcting you? Do you even realize it yet? Although the discipline may be painful now, rejoice in what it will create later!