Sunday, January 3, 2016
Imagine yourself driving down a country road and you see a speed limit sign that reads "Speed Limit 30". What thoughts, attitudes are your automatic reaction? If you are 'typical' you probably check your rear view mirror and put foot pressure on the gas pedal if you judge the road to be safe and yourself in no visible danger. After all, you are in a hurry, right?
Now imagine yourself driving down a country road and you see a sign that reads .. "SLOW DOWN, visibility low, road washed out around next curve." Now, what is your automatic reaction? Rear view mirror check and foot to the pedal? No, if you are 'typical' and without a death wish, you quickly put your foot to the brake and take all the necessary precautions indicated by the warning sign.
What caused the difference in attitude?
In the first scenario, you took the speed sign to be a 'good suggestion', but it was somewhat optional. As long as you judged a faster speed was safe - for you - and you didn't get caught, no harm done! The worse that would happen was that a police cruiser was lurking in some tucked away spot and you would have to pay a fine, but you considered it worth the minimal risk.
In the second scenario, you believed the sign was there for your safety and that in disobeying you would suffer harm or injury or some other disaster that was in your best interests to avoid. You did not consider this sign to be a good suggestion subject to your consideration but rather a warning put there to 'save you' from dire consequences if you did not heed it.
We, far too often - whether we admit it or not - take God's laws and commandments as 'good suggestions' and we make it our personal prerogative as to what degree we will obey them. We judge and make allowances as to how important the 'suggestion' is relative to our own life situations or even inclinations. We believe we can get away with it; no harm done.
But God's commandments are not 'good suggestions' but rather fit into my second scenario. To disobey God's commandments is to foolishly rush into a harmful situation. The harm of disobeying is not a mere inconvenience - a fine, or slap on the wrist. It is sure destruction, causing pain, not just to ourselves but also those around us, even if we do not feel the effects immediately.
How different our attitudes are to the 'laws of nature' - which are also God's laws. The law of gravity makes no allowances for it being taken as a 'good suggestion'. Jump out of a ten story window and harm to you is sure to follow. Fire burns, water drowns, lightning strikes, hurricane winds destroy, black ice on the road is hazardous, poison kills. Why do we have obedient respect for the laws of God we attribute to 'nature', but make our obedience to God's moral/spiritual laws for how we are to live, conditional on how we feel?
Every one of God's laws/commandments are given to us to keep us safe and happy within the security of God's love over us. Instead of questioning them or trying to skirt around them or find a personal loop-hole, why not simply put our foot on the brake and avoid the wash-out around the next curve of life?
A new year is beginning, and it is the time when we have the 'clean' feeling of starting afresh. Would it not be a good new year's resolution to determine that we will accept all of God's laws, as being good, and obeying them being necessary for us to enjoy the 'good life' that God desires for all His children?