I was cruising down the interstate on a glorious day! The temperature was just perfect out, the sun was shinning and I was feeling fabulous. As I traveled along, a glance at the speedometer showed I was exceeding the speed limit. Well, I wasn't speeding, exactly, I was just keeping up withh traffic. I mean no one drives the speed limit, do they? Well, there were a couple of people over in the slow lane, but I mean like some body's old grandma or something. None of the cool people. I'd just stay in the middle lane and keep up with everyone else.
As I continued along, my favorite song came on the radio. Wow, I love that song! I sped up a bit, enjoying the music. I drifted over to the passing lane, so I could get out of the traffic flow in the middle lane. I was only going a little bit faster now, but it just felt right. I mean, if it feels right, you have to do it, don't you?
Suddenly I saw some flashing lights in my rear view mirror. "Oh, snap!" I pulled over. Great, the policeman was in the mood to give a lecture. Didn't I know that speeding was dangerous? I could hurt someone, or even myself. I could have an accident and end up killed. Thanking the officer (but not particularly meaning it), I took my summons and drove off, paying particular attention to the speed limit. Yes, I'd slowed down, but I wasn't happy about it. I mean who did that cop think he was anyway? He probably speed too on his off time. He was just making his monthly quota.
This fictitious account is meant to help you reflect on sin. Speeding represents sinning. How often do we do some "little thing" with the excuse that it's not really sinning, or that everyone else is doing it? Maybe it's taking the Lord's Name in vain, which I hear so often from non-Christians and Christians alike. People down play it as just a phrase or saying - but it is the name above all names! And we're using it as a swear word. But whatever "little thing" we're doing, we excuse.
Next the little thing may lead to another little thing, or a bigger thing. Sin leads to more sin. Once we begin hardening our hearts to sin, it's harder for the Holy Spirit to prompt us. And the Police Officer? He represents a godly friend. You know the person who comes to you and tells you they're worried about one of your behaviors. This analogy shows what is often best case scenario. A "thank you" we don't mean, and a changed behavior for a short time. Often times we actually get defensive or enraged that the person should point out OUR behavior. THEY too are a sinner.
I pray today for godly people in my life, and in yours, to point out our short falls. I pray for a humble spirit to hear the truth, and not become defensive. Just like speeding, sinning can lead to hurt people and even to death. May we all get caught in a "speed trap," trapping our sin and changing our behavior.
Matthew 18:15 -- If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.