But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
I just drove home from Roanoke, Virginia to Dacula, Georgia. The speed limit varies along this route from 55 mph to 70 mph. However, many of the people who passed me were doing at least fifteen to twenty miles over that.
Many years ago, I saw the Chris Reeves version of the movie, Rear Window. The movie was made after Chris was already paralyzed, so the set-up was that he’d been in a car accident. One of the lines the police investigator said was that both parties were going the “obligatory” ten miles over the speed limit. I always wondered what made it so “obligatory.” Weren’t the drivers in control of how fast they went?
Then I moved to the Atlanta area, and I think I finally got the answer to that question. Nowadays, I feel “obliged” to speed too sometimes, mostly in self-defense, but it still makes me a law-breaker. Believe it or not, I’m a person who likes to drive the speed limit, whatever it is. I don’t want to go any faster than that, but I don’t particularly want to go any slower either. Sometimes it seems that in Atlanta, this is virtually impossible to maintain. If I stay in the far right lane, people are constantly entering and exiting right in front of me, usually sliding over with about two feet to spare, if that, which means I have to slam on the brakes or slow down to twenty miles below the limit until they can pick up speed or move over. If I get in the center or left lane, I’m passed with honking and cursing for going too “slow.” I’ve even had pastors confess that this road rage over “slow” drivers is their biggest fault. My question is, Why is the speed limit considered “slow?” A friend once told me that the police won’t stop you unless you’re going more than ten miles over the limit. Does that make it right? Should how fast we go be determined by what we’ll get a ticket for, or by respect for the law itself?
But I think the disdain for speed limits is just symptomatic of a much bigger problem in today’s society. We don’t seem to accept any limits at all. The recent rioting and looting in Baltimore and Ferguson showed blatant disrespect for people’s property rights, and our president has not only justified, but seemingly encouraged the lawlessness. Where are the property destruction limits? In the 1960’s, respect for limits on sexuality went out the window, and the result is now a redefinition of what constitutes a marriage and more than 60 million babies aborted in the names of “convenience” and “women’s rights.” Now groups are talking about reclassifying pedophilia as a disease instead of a crime, and looking the other way as women are sold into sex slavery at an ever increasingly young age . Where is the limit on decency? Over half of those babies aborted were female. Where were their rights? Assisted suicide and euthanasia are being legalized in many states. Where is the limit on preservation of life?
I am glad one thing is limitless—God’s love. But you know one thing that’s not? His patience. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that He is long-suffering, not wishing that any should perish, but there will come a day, and I believe it’s coming soon, when His patience will come to an end. Then there won’t be any limits on His wrath. Malachi refers to it as “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” He says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” as the blood or 60 million innocent babies cry out to Him. Lawlessness will end, but at what cost.
Sorry if this sounds like another “bitter” post. It isn’t. As I said, God doesn’t want anyone to perish, and neither do I. We’re all sinners, law-breakers. It’s kind of like the speed limit. We think, well, I just go a little bit over the limits. Most people are a lot worse than me. It doesn’t matter. In God’s eyes, sin is sin, one mile or fifty. The good news is, Jesus already paid the “fine”—with His death. The judge declares us “Not Guilty” if we confess Him as Lord and claim that payment. I certainly hope if you haven’t, you’ll claim it today. We’re never promised tomorrow.
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: What do you think?