12.07.20— Legalism!--Matthew 5:17
My friend, may I ask you a question? There are many Christians today who would like to impose similar rules on others just to make themselves feel good and proper driving in the “left lane.” You must not play this game or you dare not drink this glass of wine. Why?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I’m M. Clifford Brunner
Left lane drivers! They’re the ones who, following all the traffic rules diligently, somehow always end up in the left lane, the fast lane of traffic right in front of you. They lock their speedometer on 55 and zealously guard the “car length” per every ten miles of speed between them and the next vehicle in front of them. It’s not that they don’t follow the rules. They follow the rules more carefully than any driver on the road. 99.9% of the rules are followed religiously. There’s only one rule that is often ignored in that .1% of their driving. It’s the “Slow Traffic Keep Right” sign.
It’s like that for some Christians as well. If everyone simply follows the rules, we’ll all get along just nicely. There’s no need to make exceptions or be mindful of others who might be going slower or faster than they are. It’s a “one rule fits all world and they’re in the lane of choice.
Here are a set of rules that remind me of the discipline and the single-mindedness of a left lane driver. “I am in earnest about forsaking ‘the world’ and following Christ. But I am puzzled about worldly things. What is it I must forsake?” a young man asks. “Colored clothes, for one thing. Get rid of everything in your wardrobe that is not white. Stop sleeping on a soft pillow. Sell your musical instruments and don’t eat any more white bread. You cannot, if you are sincere about obeying Christ, take warm baths or shave your beard. To shave is to lie against Him who created us, to attempt to improve on His Work.”(Elizabeth Elliot, The Liberty of Obedience, Nashville, Abingdon, 1968, pp. 45-46.)
As absurd as these rules sound, there are many Christians today who would like to impose similar rules on others just to make themselves feel good and proper driving in the “left lane.” You must not play this game or you dare not drink this glass of wine. Why? “Well, I find it works for me and for that reason it should work for you as well!” When we park ourselves in the left lane of life and expect everyone and everything to follow our set of rules, no matter how well- thought out or intentioned, we can easily be the cause for other people’s spiritual traffic jams. Reality is that not everyone is driving at the same spiritual rate of speed. The authorities put the “Slow Traffic Keep Right” sign there for a reason. They knew that if that courtesy was not observed, eventually there would be dire consequences to pay. In like manner we as Christians need to make sure that when we are in the “left lane” of this spiritual life we are not causing traffic jams for others simply because we feel that everyone needs to be driving at our speed. Do the loving thing and don’t cause traffic jams.
We pray. Heavenly Father. When we expect everyone and everything to follow our set of rules, we can easily be the cause for other people’s spiritual traffic jams. Teach us Lord that not everyone is driving at the same spiritual rate of speed as we. Help us to make sure that when we are in the “left lane” of this spiritual life we are not causing traffic jams for others simply because we feel that everyone needs to be driving at our speed. Forgive us Lord when we do. Help us to do the loving thing and not cause traffic jams for people not driving at the same spiritual speed as we are. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<email@example.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.