But since while trying to conform himself to some exemplar, a man is occasionally impeded by an intervening obstacle, he therefore removes that which is most capable of being an impediment: the weight of sin. Now, tribulation is as a certain contest. I Cor 9:25: Every one who contends in the struggle, refraineth himself from all things. For just as in a race and contest one ought to lay aside everything that weighs him down, so also in the contest of tribulation....He, therefore, who wishes to run well to God in tribulation must lay aside every impediment.
[Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Baer, tr. St. Augustine's Press (South Bend, IN: 2006) p. 269.]