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, 2) fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3) Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Have you ever felt like being a Christian comes with too many expectations? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the fact that everyone, including yourself, feels like you should be perfect? I mean, if you’re a Christian you shouldn’t be suffering… right? WRONG! Although we are called to be Christ-like, we will NEVER be perfect while in the flesh. EVER! We will continue to endure hardship as well.
I’m not saying this to discourage anyone. I’m simply saying that we are setting ourselves up for failure the minute we believe that it’s possible to live up to the ‘perfect Christian’ expectation. Instead of beating ourselves up trying to portray perfection, how about we take it one day at a time? One moment at a time. Instead of portraying ‘perfection’ we should show others behind us how many times we have already fallen but got up, and are still holding on by a thread.
The fact that the portion of scripture above mentions letting go of the sin that ‘easily entangles’ is clear proof that we WILL FAIL. Despite our efforts, there are times when we fall into sin, or do and/or say things we shouldn’t. I’m not saying that it’s okay, but I am saying that it’s not the end. Although it does feel that way. By allowing our failures to entangle us, we begin to feel defeated and instead of leaning on the Lord and “fixing our eyes on Jesus” we give up. We figure “I’m already sinning so why bother?”. But you see that’s what the devil wants from us. He wants us to focus on our downfalls and not the One who can pull us out of the rut we often find ourselves in.
I don’t have that many fancy words to say today, but I will say this. Don’t lose hope and don’t give up. Despite feeling like a failure, or like things won’t get better. Despite the fact that you’ve been reviewing the SAME mistakes and sinful acts over and over… just know that the author and finisher of our faith has already endured and conquered everything that we’re enduring and more. So look to Him for guidance and comfort. It may take a while, and it may mean we have to let go of some things and persons that are hindering us. It’s definitely going to be hard, but in the end it’ll all be worth it. And who knows, your God-given strength many be the encouragement another needs to hold on.