AND THE REASON ISN’T BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO
I think one of the quickest ways to start a fight amongst Christians is to quote this verse when talking about politics. I realize that politics are already a volatile topic, but this usually pushes someone over the edge, and a conversation turns into a verbal war.
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. – Romans 13.1
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. – 1 Peter 2.13-14
If you tell another christian that they need to listen to the government, and do what they say, there is a chance that someone is going to freak out. It doesn’t matter what issue or law is being suggested that all Christians obey either. It could be one about littering. It could be one about properly disposing of batteries. It could be about properly following the posted speed limit signs. Whatever the issue, Christians tend to freak out.
Recently, I have noticed that Christians are getting up in arms about following the posted speed limit signs. Where I live, on the major highways, the speed limit can be from 100-110 kmph. On the main streets, the average posted speed is 60 kmph. Residential areas and school zones range from 30 to 50 kmph.
Some would say that these speeds are reasonable, while others find them completely arbitrary. There are people that will drive at whatever speed they feel is adequate, regardless of where they are or how their driving affects anyone. And this is how the Christians act.
Again, telling them that we need to obey the ruling authority usually ends with people throwing their verbal fists. One side says, obey the government. We must submit as Paul said. The other side will say, we must obey God rather than man (Acts 5.29).
Trying to discuss this issue with cool heads doesn’t seem to work very often. So rather than enter the ring to start another verbal battle, I thought I would take a different approach.
See? I am of the camp that says that we christians should be obeying the posted speed limits. But I don’t want to repeat the common battle cry.
Instead, I want to share three reasons why we should all do something as simple as following the post speed limit signs, because ultimately, how we act reflects the Jesus we serve.
Speeding Is A Prideful Action
When I was coming up in age, I had to take a driver training course. It was a part of my obtaining a learner’s license, but I was happy to have all of the help that I could get. I didn’t have any previous driving experience like the farm raised kids in my class did.
One of the first things that our driving instructor taught us was to drive defensively.
“When you are driving, it is all about you. You worry about you. Don’t think or expect the guy driving beside you to follow the rules of the road. You drive and make sure that you and your passengers are safe at all times. If that means slowing down, slow down. If that means hitting the horn or slamming on the brakes to avoid an accident, you do it. When you get behind the wheel, it is all about you.”
Those were very wise instructions, and have come in handy on more than one occasion since my days of driver training. But more and more I notice that people are taking this defensive driving attitude and turning it into their lifestyle attitude. They don’t drive their cars or trucks in a way to keep them and their family safe anymore. No, instead they drive in a way that says “I have to get somewhere. Move, I am trying to get through. Excuse me, I am driving here.”
It isn’t defensive driving. It’s pride-filled driving. It’s all about me. It’s all about I. I have some place to be, so I’ll drive how I want. I am running late, so I’ll drive as fast as I want. I don’t want to be patient and wait for a safe opportunity to pass you, I’ll drive around you on the shoulder of the road.
Driving has become about the individual. “Me, Myself, I” has become the driving force behind people speeding everywhere. It is what is motivating a complete disregard for the posted speed limits. I need, I have, I must, I will, have become much more important than the safety of oneself, those in the vehicle with you, and those in vehicles on the same road as you.
Speeding is a very pride filled action, all about ones self. This attitude and this action is not compatible with the teachings and life of Jesus.
To this John replied, …“He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3.30 NIV
The New King James says that “[Jesus] must increase, and I must decrease.”
John understood that he was not so important. Even though he was the mouthpiece of God, even though he was the forerunner of the Christ, John was not so important. Everything was not about him. In fact, John kept turning people’s attention to Jesus, because Jesus was far more important than John was. He knew that. He understood that. He lived that out.
John lived a life of humility, not pride. His actions were not about himself, but about others. He preached coming of Christ for others to hear, so that other people may repent, for the Kingdom of God was coming.
This attitude of humility and these actions that lack any notion of pride are to be characteristic of the people of God. This is how the people that follow Jesus should be acting, behind the driver’s seat and outside of the car.
God called His people over and over, through the history of Scripture to be more like him. To move from their selfish ways to more godlike ways. He said, “Be holy, just as I am holy.” Be a people of humility, not pride. In your driving the car and every other part of your life.
To be a Christian behind the wheel means that we should be driving in a way that is not pride filled. We should be driving in a way that is not all about us. To me, that would look like Christians obeying the posted speed limit signs.
Speeding Is A Selfish Action
While speeding along the highway or through the residential area is a prideful action, it isn’t just that. It is also a very selfish action.
The two actually go hand in hand, so much so, that they almost overlap. Prideful driving will say that it is all about me. Selfish driving says that I do not care about you.
Prideful driving says that I have to be somewhere, so I will drive how I want.
Selfish driving says I don’t care if I cut you off, you and your passenger’s safety isn’t my concern.
Prideful driving says that I will do what I like because I am the most important.
Selfish driving says that what happens to you and your vehicle doesn’t affect me, so I will drive how I like.
These may seem very similar, almost the very same to a certain degree. But I believe that they are the two sides of one coin. One side, it’s about me. The other side, it’s about how little I care about you.
This attitude of selfishness is obviously nothing new. We have all seen this before, in our own lives, in our work places, and especially on the road. But for the Christian, this isn’t something that we should be displaying.
The apostle Paul confronts the church in Rome with this message.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” – Romans 12.2-3
Think of yourself with sober judgment. Realize that you are not all that and a bag of potato chips. Rather you are just a man. You are just a woman. A single soul on a planet of billions. You are not so important that others around you lose their significance. On the contrary, any significance, any measure of importance is given by the grace of God, not by the whims of man.
We may think that we are the most important and have a proud attitude. We may have no care or concern for those that are driving around us. We may not worry about their safety, their time, their lives, but this is not a Christ like attitude. Jesus did not come to Earth lording his power and authority over humanity, though He had every right to do so. Instead he humbled himself, and became like a servant. He thought of others, thinking they were of greater importance (Matthew 20.28).
Paul says that a selfish thinking, prideful attitude is the way of the world. These are ways that we as Christians should not be conforming to. This should not be the way that we act or live or drive. We need to be changed, we need to renew our thinking, and adjust our lives according to God’s will.
God called His people to be like Him. He said, BE HOLY AS I AM HOLY. Be a people that are not inconsiderate, that do not care about those around you. Do not think of yourself so highly, but be like a servant—someone that is selfless, not selfish.
Speeding Is A Loveless Action
Jesus said this to his disciples, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
“This is my command: Love each other.” – John 15.12,17
While I don’t want to delve into all that Jesus meant when He told us all to love one another here, I’ll mention two things about this love: 1.This love is a humble love. It is not proud. 2.This love is a sacrificial love. It is not selfish.
This is how Christians are to be known. People will look at us and notice something different about us. It will not be our hair. It wouldn’t be the fact that we have cross necklaces or Jesus fish tattoos. They will see that we love one another. And that we show it in tangible ways, ways that actually matter.
One practical way that we can do that is by driving in a way that is not proud, in a way that doesn’t put us up on a pedestal and demand that our needs and wants have to be met. Our love will be shown when we take a moment to consider those driving around us and think of their safety as well as our own.
People will know that we are Christians, that we love one another, when we drive within the posted speed limits. When we realize we aren’t the only ones that have somewhere to go, and drive differently, people will notice. When we understand that the safety of others on the road is something we are responsible for in part, and we drive differently, people will notice.
When I’m talking about people needing to drive according to the posted speed limit, I’m not attacking people and their ability to handle their vehicles. There is a time and place for high speed driving, and weaving in and out of traffic. But neither of those are for the major highways, main streets, residential areas and school zones. Maybe in Hollywood, but this is not Hollywood.
When I’m talking about people needing to drive according to the posted speed limit, I’m talking about a need for Christians to honestly examine their lives. I’m asking people to stop and reflect on their character and how it compares to that of Christ. This goes beyond just the simple every day activities, and normal hum drum things like the speed at which we drive. But it doesn’t exclude them either. In fact it includes them.
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” – Matthew 7.16-17
So, what does your driving say about you?
What does it say about your relationship with Jesus?
Do you agree with this? Or are we free from the laws of men?
Let us know in the comment section below.
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