Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (Hebrews 12:1,2)
Olympian runners discard every unnecessary item to increase the odds of a win. Any possible encumbrance is addressed to ensure crossing the finish line. No marathoner runs with a budging wallet or with a backpack over his shoulders, it would ensure a loss.
God has placed a spiritual race before us. Encumbrances for this race appear as judgments, jealousy, criticisms, materialism, lusts, and many more, but unforgiveness tops the list. If not stripped away, this encumbrance causes the strongest, brightest, and best to succumb to spiritual exhaustion.
How do we rid ourselves of this debilitating weight? By locking our gaze on the one who provides the way for the win, he is the champion, the pioneer of the method for the victorious run, the perfecter of our faith, he is Jesus Christ!
Holy Spirit, focus my eyes on Christ! May I always see him, hear him, follow him, and by your power, wisdom, and grace, win the race set before me. Amen.
“and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”