September 21, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
(Originally sent 5.03.01 - Rewritten for today.)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:1-2.
A frequent problem for the criminal justice system is the filing of frivolous lawsuits by inmates. According to a legal encyclopedia a "frivolous suit is one without any legal merit. In some cases, such an action might be brought in bad faith for the purpose of harassing the defendant." The dictionary gives this as a definition for the word, frivolous, "not having any serious purpose or value."
One frivolous lawsuit came from an inmate in the Michigan corrections system. Chad DeKoven in his lawsuit sought recognition of himself as "Messiah-God” and wanted the state to provide him with a full pardon and full-time personal attendants. DeKoven also demanded peace in the Middle East. Judge David M. Lawson dismissed the lawsuit and called it frivolous.
We can agree that DeKoven’s demands were a little frivolous, ridiculous, crazy, and even incredible. But what about our demands? We who are living the Christian life, sometimes insist on hanging onto our sins and the pursuing of the attractions of this world. Sometimes we also insist on hanging onto our anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, bigotry and so many other things.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to "lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us...." These weights and sins are just frivolous things when compared to "Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame...." When we insist on hanging onto our weights and sins that "great cloud of witnesses" must think it is so frivolous, ridiculous, crazy, and even incredible that we persist in acting the way we do.
Kirstie Alley tells about her aspirations in life by saying, "I've always aspired for things like mopeds, vacations, pastries, and anything frivolous." In the great panorama of life, death, and eternity that really does sound frivolous doesn‘t it? What are your aspirations in life? What is the goal for your life? Are your aspirations frivolous? Is the goal of your life frivolous?
What frivolous things do you need to lay aside so that you can "run with endurance the race that is set before" you?