Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. (Prov. 6:5)

DURING THE EARLY YEARS of the kingdom of Siam, now Thailand, the white elephant was renowned as the symbol of opulence and power. It still is a status symbol in that part of the world. This would be something like living in a large house today or driving a Rolls-Royce, one of the most expensive and prestigious of all possessions.

However, when a particular courtier to the king became tiresome or obnoxious, the king would make a gift to that person whom he wished to dishonor. He would give him a white elephant.

Why? It’s simple. The white elephant was such an honor that no one could refuse it and certainly couldn’t dispose of it. But it was so burdensome and expensive to own that it would soon bankrupt the person with the cost of maintenance.

Hence, we now have the term white elephant to indicate a valuable but burdensome possession whose cost is out of proportion to its usefulness.

Here’s the lesson of the white elephant: The things you own actually own you. So you had better think twice about what you choose to acquire. Your possessions can literally be the ruin of you. Live simply, live better. It’s time to break free from the things that ensnare you.

Identify the specific things that hinder you from running the race.

Lawrence W. Wilson is a pastor, author, and blogger from Fishers, Indiana. He is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy: Living the Way Jesus Lived (WPH).