Hard words from today's reading made me stop and think about our walk of faith.
“Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (v1)
We will have to make deliberate choices to lay aside thoughts, ideas, and habits that make it difficult to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
“Run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (v1)
Our walk of faith will require determination. There will be opportunities to stray from the marked path, slow down, or even stop. It is our choice to maintain our forward progress.
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (v 4)
Temptation to sin will always lurk at our hearts door and sometimes it will be very difficult to resist this temptation. It is our choice on whether or not we exert great effort to resist.
“Do not make light of the Lord's discipline” (v 5)
Our actions have consequences and there are costs associated with our wrong choices. The Lord must discipline us in order to help us correct our mistakes. It is an unloving father that does not correct a child’s error. It is our choice on how we respond to the Lord’s discipline.
“Do not lose heart when he rebukes you” (v 5)
Punishment is a difficult pill to swallow but there will be times when our thoughts, words, action, or inaction is in direct opposition to God. It is our choice to take our medicine without losing heart.
Taken by themselves these words do not portray the full message of God’s nature nor do they reveal the complete picture of a life of faith, but they do speak to some of the choices that we are required to make.
May we be people of faith making right choices.