Posted by: alliehope | September 1, 2008

Tangled Up

I had an out of body moment this morning in the children’s ministry room, watching an activity the kids were doing. We were playing a game where the kids had to figure out from a list of statements what was the truth, and what was false. (The day’s theme was discerning truth from error–something I don’t do all that well sometimes). There was a kid in the middle of a circle, and the rest of the kids in each team held a long piece of string. If the narrator of the game said something true, the kids stood still; if she said something false, the kids walked around the kid in the middle until he or she was fully tangled up, representing how easily we can get tangled up in error.

I thought about this on the train on my way home, and the words of Hebrews 12:1 came to mind: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entagles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured he cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”. (Emphasis mine). Normally the words encourage me to keep going, keep growing closer to God, but today, as they hung around in my heart, started piercing me.

I realized that it’s not just spiritual error that can entangle me. Bitterness, envy, anger, pride, fear, ingratitude, wallowing in the past instead of forgiving myself for it and unwillingness to repent and surrender are the strings that I keep tying back around myself instead of being free. As I consider the passage that I mentioned, I know that this “throwing off” process isn’t one that happens overnight: as one more knot is untangled, I am that much more free.

Further, it’s not one that happens by myself–I need the community of believers (a “band of sisters”, if you will) around me to help me see knots that I don’t even know are there, and to tell me when my efforts to untangle myself are only ending me up in a bigger knot than before. It isn’t easy for me to admit where I’ve been wrong, where I’ve failed, but I know that’s one of the biggest ways I get free: as I admit my mistakes, they lose their power over me.

The question I ask of you, readers, is, what’s got you “tangled up”? Consider the question (I don’t need an answer), and prayerfully give those issues to God. Read Psalm 25, and confess as the Spirit convicts you of the sins that are entangling you. I pray you find rest, that you see the gentle hands of Christ reaching out to you, to take away the things that entagle you, so that you can be truly free.



  1. Indeed… I think we all become easily entangled. I think the illustration from Promise Land was a very practical way for the students (and us) to experience.

    I’m also glad that you’re sharing what God is showing you – its one of the ways we begin to connect to those around us on deeper levels. For someone to help untie our knots, they have to understand us and where we get kinked up. I’m also challenged with how and when to open up, but it’s something that gets better with practice.

    Love ya sis and see you soon!

  2. Oh, I loved reading your story. It made me see kite string in a whole new light. Hebrews 12:1 is one of my favorite passages. May we run the race… I love you and your walk with God. Thanks for walking alongside me. I appreciate you and your heart for others.

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