A Large Crowd of Witnesses
1 Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won't let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. 2 We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God's throne! 3So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won't get discouraged and give up.
Jesus is the point of our lives. He is the leader of our faith and the one who remains faithful in our lives until the end. He is to be our focus. And from him, spiritual health and life will flow into our souls and out of our lives. But today so many other things distract or hold us. Or as the writer of Hebrews describes it, “won’t let us go” (v 1). To “be held” by something in the original Greek includes the idea of addiction. So what is hanging onto us to the point of detrimental distraction?
Think about how much screen time you spend each day on Instagram either creating a new story or looking at your friends’ posts. It would be really interesting to add up the total number of hours we spend per week on social media. Truthfully, though, this might be only one thing that won’t let us go. What about the drive to be perfect, whether at school or work? Or the workaholism that consumes our waking hours to get ahead, to become rich, and to amass power? Are any of these behaviours harmful for us or are they merely the normal way of doing life in the 21st century?
It seems to answer these questions we need to look at verse 3 which talks about our inner life of faith. At the end of the day, people who can endure suffering, assaults on their faith, and even persecution, like Jesus, are people who understand what makes them weary and discouraged in their souls.
Today, take the opportunity in the manic pace of your life to slow down and take stock of the health of your soul. Are you close to burnout? Do you feel depressed? Do you get easily angered? Are you battling exhaustion? Pray and ask God what one thing you can change today to take care of your soul.
Loving Father, give me wisdom and insight today to identify what is polluting my faith and feeding the discouragement and weariness I feel in my soul. Give me the courage to begin to take better care of myself. And the grit to trust you. Thank you that you are committed to me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.