"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:1-2
Do you ever feel as if life in general is weighing you down? I know for me it may be stress over something completely out of my control (like a lack of electricity), or from when I am feeling far away from God due to my own negligence in our relationship.
Whatever the cause, the Bible tells us that we need to throw those things off; to not be weighed down and hindered in our race through this lifetime we've been given.
As we begin this new year, find ways to eliminate all that excess baggage. Here are a few suggestions which come to mind:
1. Put God first. Simple statement, but will make a world of difference in your life. If He put you and me above His own Son, shouldn't we give Him His rightful place in our lives?
2. Learn to forgive. Forgiveness is not easy, especially if you've been hurt deeply. Yet, it is completely freeing when we are no longer under the bondage of all that bitterness and resentment. Forgive and free yourself!
3. Treat your body with care. We were given these bodies as a loaner, kind of like a rental car (some of us just have a few more miles than others). Since they really do not belong to us but were "bought with a price," we need to treat them with the utmost care, i.e. good nutrition, plenty of rest, exercise, etc.
4. Surround yourself with love. Everyone needs to feel loved. Surround yourself with those who love you and love them generously in return. As the Bible tells us, "Love covers over a multitude of sins." Those who truly love us, will love us through the hard times, yet be honest enough to let us know when we need to make some changes. Hmmm....sounds like God.
5. Let go of the stuff that doesn't matter. I'm speaking to myself here, but sometimes we can get so stressed out about the messy house, the dirty floors or the gum stuck to the roof of the minivan. Let it go. These things are not going to matter in a few years, but the time you pour into your family and friends will leave lasting memories.
Well, that's my list. Guess I need to start working on a few things. How about you? Oh, and by the way, thought I'd leave you with a picture of my crazy husband grilling in the snow, and "yes," it was by choice. :)
Stay warm, friend,Kristi