THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1, Amplified Bible)
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an expert on Bible exposition. I’m a student and learning but sometimes I feel like Paul and have to say, “this is me speaking, not necessarily the Lord.” My thoughts about this passage are one of those times.
Regardless of the number of commentaries I read or the number of Bible scholars I question, no one can tell me to my satisfaction exactly what “the sin that so easily ensnares us” really applies to. Some say it’s the sin of unbelief. Others say it’s sin, in general. My personal feeling is that it’s the sin that I – personally – struggle with. The sin that so easily ensnares, or entangles, or besets you may be totally different than the sin that I struggle with.
And for years, my struggle has been with anger.
I used to have the kind of temper that would cause me to throw things, pitch a fit, have a temper tantrum, etc. You know the ones. Someone who, today, would be advised to take anger management classes and learn to deal with anger in a more constructive way.
That was me.
After many years of prayer, God truly changed me, though. Praise His Name!! He removed so much of that anger and frustration from me… I didn’t even recognize myself. I might still get irritated about something, and even mildly angry. But those feelings don’t last and they certainly don’t cause the out-of-control, losing it kind of anger I used to experience. THAT is God at work in my life. And I am truly thankful!
Sadly, anger is still the sin that so easily entangles me. If I let my guard down, anger is where the enemy hits me the quickest, and the hardest. And that’s something I never want to experience again!
Maybe, like me, anger is the sin that so easily ensnares, or traps, you. Maybe it’s something entirely different. Whatever the specific sin you struggle with, know that – just as He did for me – God can cleanse you of that sin, and especially the damaging effects of it, if you’ll let Him. I pray you’ll let Him help you, heal you, and cleanse you of your troubling sin today. The freedom such cleansing brings is beyond description.