Have you been cut off in traffic lately? Have you ever been stopped at a red light and the instant it turns green the car across from you quickly turns, violating your right-of-way? Do you frequently find cars dangerously riding your rear bumper? Or perhaps you're reading this thinking, “Well, I’m usually the one doing the tailgating, but the people in front of me are driving way too slow”?
We live in a fast-paced, automobile dependent world. Many of us have to commute long distances to work or school. Or perhaps, just as frustrating, you live in a major city where you drive short distances that take a long time. As of 2016, there were more than 268,000,000 vehicles registered in the U.S., which is about one-fifth of vehicles on the road worldwide. Being behind the wheel of a hundred or more steel horses that can travel at speeds above 70 miles per hour is a big responsibility. If taken lightly, one mistake at the wheel could cost you your life!
Over the seventeen years I drove through the congested streets of Los Angeles, I was involved in four automobile accidents—one of them major. I've learned that with experience comes a more defensive mindset. But many people today, even seasoned drivers, can't help but try to show off their NASCAR skills and drive way over the speed limit, breaking the “rules of the road” to be on time for the next meeting, or to get an adrenaline rush from their “need for speed.”
If Jesus Christ walked the earth today and found Himself behind the wheel of a car, truck or SUV, what kind of driver would He be? How should today’s Christians conduct themselves on the road?
God inspired the Apostle Peter to encourage us to follow Christ’s example of perfect character. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:21).
Jesus Christ never broke God’s law. In fact, He even made it a point to obey the legitimate laws of the secular government that ruled over the places where He lived and taught. And He taught us to do the same. The Bible makes it clear that Christians should submit to the governing authorities who reign over us, and warns that if we don't we will bring judgment on ourselves (Romans 13:1–3).
I've felt that judgment personally, when a careless moment behind the wheel led to the destruction of my vehicle (but, thankfully only minor injuries). If I'd been more careful to utilize fruits of the spirit, such as longsuffering (patience), kindness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22) while driving, I may have avoided that particular wreck.
Christians should strive to walk with God daily—and, if we're behind the wheel of a vehicle, we should strive to drive with God, having the fear of God. We can make a huge difference on the road by obeying traffic laws that were created for our own safety, and by being courteous to other drivers. As we start our engines, let's remember the eternal words of Jesus Christ: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
Request a free copy of our booklet, The Ten Commandments. It explains plainly from the Bible how God’s laws living in us through the Holy Spirit can give us the spiritual guidance to truly love our neighbors as ourselves.