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.
Sin affects each of us, and it affects the people with whom we are in the community. It entangles us and hinders us from running the race that God has set out for each of us. For example, in Joshua chapter 7, Achan’s greed prompted him to steal a robe and gold from Jericho. The consequences brought about defeat in the battle for Israel, and ultimately his sin led to the death of his family and himself. Just as Achan’s sin brought about defeat to the Israelites, the same is true of us today. The disobedience of one person can have a profound effect on a whole community. No person is a lone island because whatever we do touches lives, either for good or for evil. Divine justice demands full retribution for the wrong done.
What race has God marked out for you? Is there any sin that is holding you back from God’s purposes for your life? Is there any sin that has affected others with whom you are in community? Take gossip for example. It tears down rather than builds up, and God’s Word teaches us to build one another up: Therefore encourage one another and build up each other…(I Thessalonians 5:11) When we gossip, we are not encouraging one another, but instead are tearing each other down. Gossip not only affects you and the person to whom the gossip is directed, but it also affects those who listen or participate. The sin of gossip is like a fire that spreads and affects many people.
What sin has entangled you and perhaps has snared others as well? Ask the Lord to reveal the sin and seek forgiveness. Seek to keep your pure, and God’s promise is that you will see God: Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
Forgive me for the sin (fill in the blank). Forgive me for the effect this sin has had on others. Untangle me from the power of sin and help me to live with a pure heart so that I am able to see You more clearly.
In Jesus’ name, Amen