In the city I live in, drivers have zero patience. Most drivers have memorized the length of traffic lights, and start honking at you to go three seconds before it turns green. It is even worse at stop signs. I hate making left turns in traffic because of the insane pressure the drivers behind you put on you to go regardless of safety. Many times I have traffic completely back up in front of me, and still have drivers behind me honking hysterically for me to go. Apparently their cars must be able to transform themselves in order to fly over solid objects! This pressure has too often caused me to make poor decisions, darting into traffic and making cars slam their breaks to barely miss me. After reading all that, you probably won’t be surprised to know that I see more accidents here in a day (typically three or more) than I would in months in Iowa.
Awhile ago, I made the decision to no longer let the impatience of others bother me. They can honk and scream all they like, but I’m going to drive in a manner that is safe for my vehicle, my family, and others. This got me to thinking: how often do we follow others when we should not? How often do we give into individual or cultural pressure, leading us into sin or physical danger? Be honest with yourself. Who really influences how you act, what you buy, how you treat others (in person and online), how you treat your wife, etc.? Are you listening to God, or are you listening to the equivalent of a honking car? Checkout the following words from Scripture:
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:3-6
Here’s the point. Following Jesus means that we live our lives between two guardrails: His commandments and His example. We need to keep our lives between those parameters. Look, there will be lots of people honking at you to go just a little bit outside of Jesus’ parameters. Often times the result is going to be a lot like me listening to a honking taxi: we’ll drive straight into a bus. Let’s listen less to others, and instead follow Jesus’ commands and example in all that we do.