Have you noticed how some things are becoming smaller and lighter these days? The first computer took up an entire building. Now you can hold a mini iPad in the palm of your hand. The first mobile phone looked and felt like a brick with an antenna. Now cell phones slip into a shirt pocket.

Then again, not everything is shrinking. I waited behind a school bus the other day as children disembarked, and I was struck by the size and apparent weight of their backpacks. I don’t know how they walk, much less run, with such an obviously heavy burden strapped to their backs.

Which brings me to the growing weight of things I should not be carrying.

Guilt for things I’ve said.

Regret for things I should have done, but didn’t.

Habits I defend rather than break.

Sin I excuse instead of confess.

Attempts to control the people around me.

Replaying painful things people said long ago, unable to move past their hurtful words.

Unforgiveness that prevents a soul-wound from healing.

 Of course, there is a place for guilt. It drives us to the Cross. And regret for past actions helps us avoid repeating those actions. But when guilt and regret paralyze instead of teaching us, then they become a burden, along with the other things listed, that we were never meant to carry.

And the weight of all these things becomes heavier with each passing day.

Like me, are you carrying loads you shouldn’t bear? It’s time for us to cast off these burdens. God never meant us to carry things that interfere with our relationship with Him. Christ died to release us from sin and its eternal consequences. The apostle Paul used the analogy of a race to communicate the importance of letting go of anything that hinders us from finishing this journey in a way that honors the Savior.

It’s one thing to release our burden of sin at the Cross and received the gift of salvation. But if we don’t continue to let go of our burdens, day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute, the unnecessary weight will bog us down on the way to the finish line. Let’s lighten the load!

What burden do you need to set down today?

Ava Pennington is an author and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries.

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