Did you ever begin an exercise program only to find that your physical condition is not quite what you had expected? Until you started exercising, all was fine; it is only afterwards that you realized the hindrances.
As believers, we are running a race. As we continue in the Christian life, certain obstacles begin to get in our way. What does the Word tell us to do? “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” (Hebrews 12:1).
Lay aside is “apotithemai,” and it means to put off one’s self and to get rid of it this moment. Get rid of it right now! The word “weight” (mia) denotes a tumor, swelling, encumbering weight, bulk, or mass, and is something that hinders the running.
Here is a picture of a believer who has a certain type of race to run. The word “race” (agon) is a particular race of an athletic contest. Because it is a certain kind of race, the believer is to lay aside anything that would impede progress. This verse refers to a specific race that only we, as believers in Christ, can run!