Christianity is a race that must be run according to divine rules. To win in this race, we must run well and run light. To achieve this, we must look to Christ.
Sin hinders us a great deal in the race and all sin is besetting because it is the character of every kind of transgression to circle us round about. The whole of it, therefore, in its entire species, is to be cast aside if we would run with patience this appointed race. Besides sin, there is something else to be put aside as well. This is every weight as well as every transgression. The putting away of both of them is necessary for the race.
It is important to remember that the sin and weights alike lie within our hearts. They are our feelings and not God’s perfect gifts. They are our abuse of God’s benefits, not the benefits which are given to us for our use. As human beings, we have a tendency of perverting the highest endowments, whether of souls or circumstances, which God has given us, into occasions for faltering, and falling back in the divine life.
Trouble comes about when we cleave to them too much, in a wrong way (for that is the deepest part of the fault). In so doing, we make them all hindrances. So, for instance, in a very awful sense is fulfilled the statement, “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household,” (Matthew 10:36) when we make those that we love best our idols, not because we love them so well, but because we love them apart from God.
There is no spiritual life without dying or spiritual growth without putting off “the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24). The hands cannot move freely until the bonds are broken. The new life that is in us cannot run with patience the race that is set before it, until the old life that is in us is put down and subdued.