Lay aside every encumbrance and the sin

 which so easily entangles us.

—Hebrews 12:1

Laat ons elke las van ons afgooi,

ook die sonde wat ons so maklik verstrik

—Hebreërs 12:1

Most of us know or have heard someone refer to this verse: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith . . .” (Hebrews 12:1–2). Though we have heard it, I’m sure that we all would agree that the encumbrance and the sin spoken about is our own. However, just recently I found myself in a web of encumbrances that were not my own, which made me look at this principle in a whole new light.

Meeste van ons ken of het iemand gehoor wat na hierdie vers verwys: “Terwyl ons dan so ‘n groot skare geloofsgetuies rondom ons het, laat ons elke las van ons afgooi, ook die sonde wat ons maklik verstrik, en laat ons die wedloop wat vir ons voorlê met volharding hardloop, die oog gevestig op Jesus, die Begin en Voleinder van die geloof . . .” (Hebreërs 12:1-2). Alhoewel ons dit gehoor het, is ek seker dat ons almal sou saamstem dat die las en die sonde waarvan gepraat word ons eie is. Nietemin, net onlangs het ek myself in ‘n web van laste gevind wat nie my eie was nie, wat my in ‘n hele nuwe lig  maak kyk het na hierdie beginsel.  

Today as never before, we see women (and some men) openly share their problems and personal sins with the world via television, and more recently, on social media. Often there is an audience full of people, mostly women, who are shouting (or posting) their opinions, many of whom are quickly given a microphone or platform to voice their outrage or simply tell that person what they should do or not do. On television, the host or hostess (or judge) appears to have the final word and has come to be viewed as an expert on solving the social ills being flaunted before countless, obsessive “can’t-get-enough” eyes and ears.

Vandag soos nooit vantevore nie, sien ons vrouens (en sommige mans) wat openlik hulle probleme en persoonlike sondes met die wêreld oor die televisie, en meer onlangs sosiale media, deel. Dikwels is daar  ‘n skare vol mense, meesal vrouens, wat hulle opinies, uitskree (of plaas), baie vir wie die mikrofoon of platform gou gegee word om hulle woede uit te spreek of eenvoudig vir daardie persoon te vertel wat hulle moet of nie moet doen nie. Op televisie, lyk dit of die gasheer of gasvrou (of regter) die finale woord het en word gesien as ‘n deskundige om die sosiale siektes wat voor ontelbare, obsessiewe “kanni-genoeg-kry oë en ore vertoon word.    

Without realizing it, these shows and social media have adversely affected all our lives by encouraging us to flaunt our own sins, and the sins of others, with our family, friends, neighbors, and even perfect strangers. By participating, we soon find ourselves entangled in a multitude of problems and sins, others and our own, which are weighing us down and stealing our joy. Not only does it begin by stealing our peace, but it also erodes our beliefs and morals, because who we hang around with is ultimately who we will become.

Sonder om dit te besef, het hierdie vertonings en sosiale media al ons lewens nadelig affekteer deur ons aan te moedig om ons eie sondes, en die sondes van ander, aan ons familie, vriende, bure, en selfs vreemdelinge te vertoon . Deur deel te neem, vind ons onsself verstrik in ‘n menigte probleme en sondes, ander as ons eie, wat swaar op ons druk en ons vreugde steel. Dit steel nie net ons vrede nie, maar erodeer ons geloof en moraal, omdat met wie ons rondhang is uitermatig wie ons sal word.  

Encumbered and Entangled

Belas en Verstrik

Just last week I submitted a testimony about my sister’s healing. I explained that the director of her group home had called me about my sister’s problem with depression and they wanted me to commit her to a psychiatric hospital, so I immediately sought God for wisdom. He then prompted me to ask Him for “the source” and we soon discovered that the depression was due to the medication she was taking, for depression! However, it was soon after they stopped the medication she’d become dependent on, when she then could not sleep, so she would call me each morning to complain (and in a way blame me for her lack of sleep). Sound familiar? 

Net verlede week het ek ‘n getuienis ingedien oor my suster se genesing. Ek het verduidelik dat die direkteur van haar groephuis my geskakel het oor my suster se probleem met depressie en hulle wou gehad het dat ek haar in ‘n psigiatriese hospitaal moes opneem. Ek het onmiddellik God nagestreef vir wysheid. Hy het my aangehits om Hom te vra vir “die bron” en ons het gou ontdek dat die depressie was as gevolg van die medikasie wat sy geneem het, vir depressie! Nietemin, dit was gou nadat hulle die medikasie gestop het dat sy daarvan afhanklik geword het, toe sy nie kon slaap nie, so sy het my elke oggend geskakel om te kla (en op ‘n manier my te blameer vir haar tekort aan slaap). Klink dit bekend?

Whenever we get involved in other people’s problems, we soon will become entangled, and then we find ourselves caught in a web of their encumbrances mixed with our own difficulties we already have to deal with. Once I’d helped my sister and became involved, I found that her director and all the other residences were also “helping” her with more advice about different medications, and many wanted her to see a counselor for her depression. Well, you get the picture: one problem became a web of problems, filled with chaos and confusion.

Wanneer ons in ander mense se probleme betrokke raak, sal ons vinnig verstrik raak, en dan vind ons onsself in ‘n web van hulle laste gemeng met ons eie probleme wat ons alreeds moet afhandel. Toe ek my suster gehelp het en betrokke geraak het, het ek gevind dat haar direkteur en al die ander residente haar ook “gehelp” het met meer advies oor veskillende medikasies, en baie wou gehad het dat sy ‘n raadgewer moes sien vir haar depressie. Wel, jy kry die prentjie: een probleem het ‘n web van probleme geword, gevul met gaos en verwarring.   

As my sister’s caregiver, I don’t have the luxury of stepping away and am somewhat involved, however, it’s important that I am careful not to get caught. In this chapter, I want to encourage all of us to take a step back to try to see just how many webs we are caught in, which we need to seek God to free us from: with family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Today you may realize you’re still caught in the sins of your ex-husband, his girlfriend, etc. as you find you’re thinking about their problems, and then enlarging the web by discussing these with your own friends or family. It could be your older children who are not where they should be in their spiritual or financial life that is entangling you. Maybe it’s your aging parents, or possibly what is happening while your younger children are visiting their dad (and her!).

As my suster se versorger, het ek nie die luuksheid gehad om weg te loop en is ietwat betrokke, nietemin, is dit belangrik dat ek versigtig is om nie vasgevang te word nie. In hierdie hoofstuk, wil ek almal van ons aanmoedig om terug te tree en te sien net hoeveel webbe ons in vasgevang is, wat ons nodig het is om God na te streef om ons daarvan vry te maak: met familie, vriende, bure en medewerkers. Vandag mag jy besef dat jy nog in die sondes van jou eks-man, sy meisie, ens vasgevang is. soos wat jy vind dat jy aan hulle probleme dink, en dan die web vergroot deur dit met jou eie vriende of familie te bepreek. Dit kan jou ouers kinders wees wie nie is waar hulle behoort te wees in hulle spirituele of finansiële lewe wat jou verstrik nie. Miskien is dit jou bejaarde ouers, of moontlik wat besig is om te gebeur terwyl jou jonger kinders hulle vader (en haar!) besoek.  

This is what I found in my own life that was robbing me of intimacy with the Lord. Even after He’d trained me to quickly give Him all my problems, asking Him to take care of anything that causes me even the slightest problem or concern, I’d unknowingly been doing this with the problems that were not mine.

Dit is wat ek in my eie lewe gevind het my beroof het van my intimiteit met die Here. Selfs na Hy my opgelei het om vir Hom al my probleme gou te gee, en Hom gevra het om af te reken met enige iets wat my selfs die geringste probleme of bekommernis gee, ek het dit onwetend gedoen met die probleme wat nie myne was nie.

Just so you know how I’ve been doing this with my own problems, it’s simple to learn. When any problem or concern comes to my mind (like when I wake up and don’t know what I am going to do that day about something), I just say, “Darling, I am going to need you to take care of (whatever) for me today. Thank you my Love.” Then I move on to talk about something else, usually, telling Him how much I love Him and often we talk about all the wonderful things He did for me the day before.

Net sodat jy weet hoe ek dit met my eie probleme gedoen het, dit is eenvoudig om te leer. Wanneer enige probleem of bekommernis in my gedagtes opkom (soos wanneer ek wakker word en nie weet wat ek gaan doen oor iets nie), sê ek net, “Liefling, ek gaan jou nodig hê om om te sien na (watookal) vir my vandag. Dankie my Lief.” Dan beweeg ek aan om oor iets anders te praat, gewoonlik, om Hom te vertel hoe lief ek Hom het en dikwels praat ons oor al die wonderlike dinge wat Hy die dag vantevore vir my gedoen het.

Dit is wat ek gevind het in my eie lewe my beroof het van my intimiteit met die Here. Selfs na Hy my opgelei het om vir Hom al my probleme gou te gee, en Hom te vra om af te reken met enige iets wat my selfs die geringste probleme of bekommernis gee, ek het dit onwetend gedoen met die probleme wat nie myne was nie.

After I get up, when I’m walking by something in my home that is giving me trouble, like a repair that needs fixing or a cleaning dilemma (like the carpet on my stairs), I just mention it to Him, and again, tell Him I am waiting for Him to show me what to do. Then I simply wait and trust Him, and if it comes to mind again, I’ll simply give it to Him again and again. Most of us were taught in A Wise Woman to tell our earthly husband that we trust him, so do the same with your heavenly Husband because He loves to hear it too.

Nadat ek opgestaan het, wanneer ek verby iets in die huis stap wat my probleme gee, soos herstelwerk of ‘n skoonmaak dilemma (soos die mat op my trappe), noem ek dit net aan Hom, en weer, vertel ek Hom om my te wys wat om te doen. Dan wag ek eenvoudig en vertrou Hom, en as dit weer in my gedagtes opkom, gee ek dit eenvoudig weer en weer vir Hom. Meeste van ons was geleer in ‘n Wyse Vrou om vir ons aardse mans te sê dat ons hulle vertrou, so doen dieselfde met jou hemelse Man omdat Hy ook lief is om dit te hoor.   

Nevertheless, even though I’ve been freed of the millions of my own dilemmas, the temptation kept trying to trip me up with other people’s problems, especially my own children’s. Since I now have children who are adults (over the age of 18), it is easier for me to encourage them to find their own solution, allowing me not to become entangled. However, like many of you, I still have younger children living at home, so this is where I found myself being pulled in. In seeking God for wisdom, He reminded me that with my older children, I’ve always tried to use these as opportunities to share scriptural principles that I live in my own life. And I’ve also tried to be careful to make sure that they are who makes the final decision of what to do (especially, to seek the Lord for the answer), doing it for themselves—rather than me becoming entangled with the decision, which must rest with them. Not just say it does, but make sure it does.

Nieteenstaande, alhoewel ek bevry is uit baie van my dilemmas, het die versoeking my aanhou laat val vir ander mense se probleme, spesiaal my eie kinders sin. Aangesien ek nou kinders het wat volwassenes is (oor die ouderdom van 18 jaar), is dit makliker vir my om hulle aan te moedig om hulle eie oplossing te vind, en my toe te laat om nie verstrik te word nie. Nietemin, soos jy het ek jonger kinders wat by die huis bly, so dit is waar ek myself ingetrek voel. Deur om  wysheid na te streef, het Hy my herinner dat met my ouer kinders, ek dit altyd as geleenthede  gebruik om skriftuurlike beginsels wat ek in my eie lewe het te deel. En ek het ook probeer om versigtig te wees om seker te maak dat dit hulle is wat die finale besluit neem oor wat om te doen (spesiaal, om die Here na te streef vir die antwoord), en dit vir hulleself te doen—eerder as wat ek verstrik raak met die besluit, wat met hulle moet rus. Nie net sê dat dit doen nie, maar om seker te maak dat dit doen. 

Thankfully, after showing me this, just this weekend the Lord led me to do the very same thing with my youngest daughter who is just ten. She has been getting a lot of pressure from her dad to move and live with him, full time; with him and his wife and her children, and has been saying it’s where she wants to live. While on the other side, I am getting just as much pressure from my older children to stop this from happening, as they tell me if I only knew what is “really going on up there” I’d stop her.  

Dankbaar, na Hy my dit gewys het, net hierdie naweek het die Here my gelei om die einste ding met my jongste dogter te doen wat net tien is. Sy het baie druk by haar pa gekry om by hom in te trek en by hom voltyds te bly; by hom, sy vrou en haar kinders, en sy het gesê dit is waar sy wil bly. Terwyl aan die ander kant, kry ek net soveel druk van my ouer kinders om te keer dat dit gebeur, omdat hulle vir my vertel dat as ek net geweet het “wat regtig daar bo aangaan” ek haar sou keer. 

This is when I took the opportunity to remind each of them about the principle of the father and the prodigal: how the father actually encouraged the son to have what he said he wanted by giving him his inheritance (ahead of time), and that he actually knew and acknowledged it would be to further his son’s sin. (Read Luke 15:11-32.) I explained that the reason God shows us this parable was to show us how not getting in the way of others is the quickest and surest way, for any person, to find that what they thought they wanted was not worth what they’ll eventually lose. Of course, I also reminded them that God does not get in our way when we want what is wrong, and the verse in Psalm 1 says this clearly, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners…” (Psalm 1:1 ESV). These sessions with my older children serve to remind them, and me, of the principles that have been overlooked and untaught by the church. 

Dit is toe ek die geleentheid geneem het om elke een van hulle te herinner aan die beginsel van die vader en die verlore seun: hoe die vader eintlik die seun aangemoedig het om te kry wat hy gesê het hy wou gehad het deur hom sy erfenis te gee (voor die tyd), en wat ek hy eintlik geweet en erken het dat dit sy seun se sonde sou bevorder het. (Lees Lukas 15:11-32.) Ek het verduidelik dat die rede dat God ons hierdie gelykenis wys was om ons te wys dat hoe as ons nie in die pad  van ander staan nie dit die vinnigste en sekerste manier, vir enige persoon, om te vind wat hulle gedink het hulle wou hê nie werd was wat hulle uiteindelik sal verloor nie. Natuurlik, het ek hulle herinner dat God nie in die pad sal staan wanneer wat ons wil hê verkeerd is nie, en die vers in Psalm 1 sê dit duidelik, “ Dit gaan goed met die mens wat nie die raad van die goddeloses volg nie, nie met sondaars omgaan en met ligsinniges saamspan nie . . . (Psalm 1:1 Afr 83). Hierdie sessies met my ouer kinders dien om hulle, en my te herinner aan die beginsels wat deur die kerk oorgesien en ongeleer is.  

Then, yesterday, again, I was being nudged into another entanglement by one of my sons who did not want me to lend any more money to his older brother who he believed had become financially irresponsible. I had to tell him, once again, that the Lord had told me to “give freely” whenever asked while reminding my son (who’d voiced his concern) that God would turn everything around for good for all parties. Already the Lord revealed that the financial entanglement that he had fallen into had kept him from moving forward in a relationship that we believed may not have been God’s plan for him, a confirmation. And to solidify this principle, and steer the conversation to speaking about our own sins, we each began sharing a few of our own errors that had taught us more than if someone had stopped us from learning the lesson the hard way. Very quickly my son was no longer concerned, but agreed that the Lord was in control and realized the blessings of getting out of the way of others—who may even be headed for trouble. 

What about you? 

Wat van jou?

Are you convinced that to get in the way of others is your duty? Or can you now see it only slows the process of repentance while also entangling you, stealing your joy? 

Is jy oortuig dat om in die pad van ander te kom jou plig is? Of kan jy nou sien dat dit net die proses van berou verlangsaam terwyl dit jou ook verstrik, en jou vreugde steel?

But what if the person is headed toward sin and you know they will soon become entangled and weighted down by all sorts of encumbrances? After what we’ve learned, will you continue to get yourself entangled rather than giving it to the Lord, allowing God to use it for their good? How many entanglements have you already gotten caught in that are not your own? 

Maar wat as die persoon sonde toe op pad is en jy weet hulle sal gou verstrik en neergedruk raak deur alle soorte laste? Na wat ons geleer het, sal jy voort gaan om jouself verstrik te kry eerder as om dit aan die Here te gee, en God toe te laat om dit ten goede te gebruik? Hoeveel laste het jy alreeds wat nie jou eie is nie?

True, though these potential entanglements many times are excellent for “teaching what is good” to those who ask, once you’ve shared the truth, are you always able to step back and let them follow the truth once you shared it, even if they choose to ignore the truth? 

Waar, alhoewel die potensiale laste uitstekend is om te “onderrig wat goed is” aan die wat vra, sodra jy die waarheid gedeel het, is jy altyd in staat om terug te tree en hulle toe te laat om die waarheid te volg sodra jy dit gedeel het, selfs as hulle verkies om die waarheid te ignoreer? 

So often I find that many people will immediately embrace the truth, but never act on it, as it says will happen in Matthew 13:20, “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary…” Allow God to break up the rocky soil in the hearts of the people around you. When we do it they resent us. Yet, if we allow God to do it, we can be there when they’re broken, helping to encourage them to accept the Lord’s love—but only if we are continually bathing in His love.

So dikwels vind ek dat baie mense onmiddelik die waarheid sal omarm, maar nooit daarop reageer nie, soos wat dit sê in Matteus 13:20, “Die man weer by wie daar op die klipbanke gesaai is, is hy wat die woord hoor en dit dadelik met blydskap aanneem. Hy laat dit egter nie by hom wortel skiet nie, en hy hou nie lank uit nie….” Laat God toe om die klipbanke op te breek in die harte van die mense rondom jou. Wanneer ons dit doen verafsku hulle ons. Tog, as ons God toelaat om dit te doen, kan ons daar wees wanneer hulle gebroke is, en hulle help om hulle aan te moedig om die Here se liefde te aanvaar—maar net wanneer ons voortdurend in Sy liefde gebaai is. 

Today I realize I am just beginning to understand that it is not enough to just lay my own sins and encumbrances aside, I must also be determined to purposely not get caught in the webs of other people’s lives, including and especially those who are closest and most loved. The ongoing and enormous problems of my own life, all that I have been living through recently, have again been working out for good: They have helped me to fully step away from entangling myself with others, leaving them to be led by the Lord or experience the consequences of their sins—ultimately when we all learn more from having gone through it. So, just as I’ve been doing with my own problems or concerns, I will now happily give all the problems or concerns I have for others to my Beloved Husband who is just as concerned for my loved one’s as He is for me! 

Vandag besef ek dat ek net begin om te verstaan dat dit nie genoeg is om net my eie sondes en laste een kant neer te lê nie, ek moet ook vasbeslote wees om aspris nie vasgevang te word in die web van ander mense se lewens, insluitende en spesiaal die wat naaste aan my is en vir wie ek die meeste lief is. Die voortdurende en enorme probleme van my eie lewe, alles  wat ek onlangs beleef het, het weer en goede uitgedraai; Hulle het my gehelp om ten volle weg te loop om myself te verstrik met ander, en hulle los om deur die Here gelei te word of ie nagevolge an hulle sondes te ervaar—uittermatig wanneer ons almal meer leer omdaat ons daardeur gegaan het. So, net soos wat ek met my probleme en bekommernisse gedoen het, sal ek nou gelukkig al die probleme of bekommernisse wt eke hetvir ander aan my Beminde Man wat net so bekommerd is vir my geliefdes as wat Hy vir my is! 

Ja, probleme mag voort gaan om my te omsingel, maar ek verkies om hulle vir die Een te gee wat die krag en wysheid het om met hulle af te reken. Dit stel my vry, weereens, om eenvoudig in Sy arms te kruip, en my te verwonder aan Sy liefde. "So lyk die man wat ek liefhet, so lyk my lewensmaat" (Hooglied 5:16)