How Do We Lay Aside Every Weight to Follow God More Fervently?

Contributing Writer
How Do We Lay Aside Every Weight to Follow God More Fervently?

What Does Lay Aside Every Weight Mean?

Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” God really does not want us to be bogged down with the cares of this world. A lot of times this happens for several reasons. We are human. We will have trials and tribulations even as Christians. We cannot blame the devil for everything, but he is the cause of a lot and sometimes he does more than we do not give him credit for. The little foxes spoil the vine. God wants us to start laying aside every weight by examining the sin in our life that we can ask Him to provide a way out of. Then, we are to ask Him for help for the sin that is a challenge for us. If it concerns you, it concerns God because it is robbing you of your peace.

What Is the Context of Hebrews 12:1?

This verse starts out by reminding us of those who came before us in the faith. Go back and read Hebrews 11. In verse one, we are reminded of what faith is. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. The Bible goes on to say that we are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses. Let us come back to Hebrews 12:1. If you are a Christian, you have a conscience towards godly living and trying to live a life that is pleasing to God. For many Christians, premarital sex might bother them. Others, it might not. Lying and stealing might bother you. Taking advantage of someone’s kindness might bother you. The Bible says to let a man examine himself as to whether you are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Some people do not like people who think they are holy or try to be holy. The Bible says be ye holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) So living holy or trying to live holy is a good attribute.

What Is the Cloud of Witnesses Described in Hebrews 12?

The chapter continues to examine the faith of different people from the Bible like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others. These are our cloud of witnesses. They are proof that faith works. We have Jesus now. Even though our New Testament Saints had Jesus in the flesh, we have Him after His blood was shed and then He sent the Holy Ghost to help us. We have it easier than they did, but their faith was so great and pleased God so that He chronicled it in the Bible. We are to use their examples as ways to lay aside every weight. You can determine what your weights are. If I am trying to lose weight, nightly binges on my favorite ice cream and pizza might prevent me from reaching my goal. If I am a born-again Christian, cursing like a sailor might not be suitable for me.

There are many different things that can be considered a weight. Procrastination can be a weight. Binge-watching your favorite television shows could be a weight especially if you have work to do or college courses to complete. I remembered when I decided that I would not watch some of my favorite primetime shows, I got more done. I dropped two shows and was able to get focused on my college courses at the time. Yes, you can use a DVR, but you are still spending a lot of time catching up on some shows.

How Can We Practically Lay Aside Every Weight Today?

You can start by trusting in someone greater than yourself. When we try to become self-sufficient, we place the burden of all that we do on ourselves. We do have help. God is there to assist us. True, He is in heaven. But He has an ear to all we do or contemplate. It is best to get Him involved. Start with laying aside the things that He has asked us to in His word. Start with the 10 Commandments. Lay aside these weights listed in Exodus 20. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Honor thy father and mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thy neighbor’s wife, etc.”

Keeping the 10 Commandments is a good place to start when laying aside every weight.

There are other references in the Bible that we can lay aside as well. Look to Proverbs 6:16-19. These verses declare six things that God doth hate and seven are an abomination unto Him. This is not Sandra Smith talking. This is from the Word of God. God hates a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked imaginations, and you are quick to run to some foolishness. God also hates a false witness that speaks lies. So do not end up somewhere testifying in court and you are lying about it. God also hates people who stir up mess or work to keep people in strife. You can read it for yourself. If you are doing these things, lay it aside and ask for forgiveness.

Sometimes, you try to separate yourself from some people who keep you weighted down. I understand there is not a lot you can do if they are in the family, work with you, in some of your organizations, etc. You can do as much as you can to excuse yourself from the conversation when possible. Pray that God will give you discernment on what to do. According to Scripture, there are some other things that we should lay aside. Look to Galatians 5:19-21. Here God lists some works of the flesh that we should lay aside. He tells us to lay aside adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, and some more things. It is okay to Google some of these big words. I do it all the time. If you read further down to verses 22-23, He gives us some characteristics that we should have instead. We should have love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

You might say, I went to school with you, and you did not exhibit all those good traits. The next question is “Have you seen me lately or after I got saved, and do you have any dirt that is under a day old?” Today is a new day. Yesterday is in the past. People do get better, and they can always repent. Unless, you are in a person’s head and prayer life, you do not know their relationship with the Lord. In fact, you should just forgive them anyway if they have offended you. Unforgiveness is a sin and a weight. Just lay it aside. We want God to forgive us of our sins. So, we must forgive others.

Everything that we should lay aside may not be in the Bible. There are a lot of places in the Bible that you can look to find ways to lay aside the weight. We should just lay aside worrying so much. I struggled with this for a minute. Realize that God is on the case. I should not be on it as well. I have decided to cease from worrying. Anyway, it promotes unruly hair days to just worry.

Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Alex Woods

Dr. Sandra SmithDr. Sandra Hamer Smith is a Christian and wife to Sylvester Smith. She has one stepson, Greg. Smith lives and resides in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of Memphis alumnae has been in education for about 20 years after receiving the call to teach. Dr. Smith primarily teaches language arts. Prior to education, she worked in local and national television news for 13 years including positions as an overnight news anchor, reporter, and assignments editor at two local network affiliate stations. Smith was also a freelance correspondent for BET news. Dr. Smith has freelanced for the Tri-State Defender newspaper and Contempora magazine.  She is the author of the self-published novel GLORY…THE HAIR.  Smith is also a playwright and poet. The Tennessee native is a member of Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Omicron Delta Kappa, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Delta Pi.


This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy-to-read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. We hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in your life today.