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As you consider these points, ask yourself, “Do I drive like a Christian, or like an Atheist?” Here are things you should do and should not do if you want to glorify God through how you drive.
1. Approach the Throne of grace with confidence, that you may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16) (ESV). You don’t have to sin by 1) trying to escape the situation apart from enjoying Christ, 2) doubting God’s sovereignty, 3) fearing the opinions of men above fearing God, 4) wanting your will to be done, or 5) exercising unrighteous anger. As you approach the Lord through the finished work of Christ, He will provide you with enough grace to help you in your time of need. His grace is sufficient; and we should be thankful that traffic helps us to understand this reality.
2. Consider the needs of your neighbors (Mark 12:31). Do you ever think that everyone else in traffic has somewhere to be as well? Do you care where they need to be? Or, are your needs and wants more important than all of God’s other image-bearers?
1. Run to another gospel. In order to occupy our time, or attempt to escape the situation, we may exercise various “nervous ticks,” attempting to escape the moment. We need to ask ourselves why we are doing such things. Our trust must be in the Lord, not in escaping the situation… even if it’s just for a moment. We may 1) gulp a pack of m&m’s, 2) go through all the radio stations nervously, 3) talk to ourselves as we blame whoever the “guilty” party is for us being late, etc. We should instead run to the gospel, enjoying Christ through His finished work, even in this moment.
2. Doubt the sovereignty of God over the situation. If we are late for a meeting, a family engagement, a work-related sale, a family event, a doctor’s appointment, etc., we may worry. Worry simply shows our doubt in the gospel, our doubt in the finished work of Christ reconciling us to God the Father, the only thing we absolutely need. A traffic jam does not change this reality; so, what are we so upset about? We may even play out a terrible scenario in our head of us 1) blowing an important sale, 2) losing a friend, 3) disappointing a loved one, 4) dying due to a missed doctor’s appointment, or 5) being fired because we were late. NONE of these things have happened yet; and if they do, God is still sovereign over these situations as well. So, be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:6). Trust Him alone; if you worry, you are not trusting that the Lord is sovereign over all situations.
3. Fear the opinions of men above the Lord. If we are late for something that may cause people to change their opinions of us, we must be careful to not covet their opinions. Instead of possessing unrighteous anger, we should instead fear the righteous Lord. If God’s opinion of us will not change, then we should be satisfied in Him. An easy litmus test to help us discern whether or not we care more about the opinions of men than God’s opinion, is if we are willing to sin so that men, women, and children will think well of us. For example: being sinfully angry in a traffic jam because we fear the anticipated opinions of men reveals our idolatrous desire for men to think well of us.
4. Think or act as if it’s your world and everyone is just living in it. Do you ever think “Don’t they know that I have to be somewhere?” I imagine that no one hopes to get stuck in traffic. Who likes traffic? Also, isn’t everyone else hoping to get somewhere as well? Why are you so important? The answer is that we’re no more important than anyone else. Thoughts like the selfish one mentioned above occur because we are sinners; and we doubt the gospel. What we are really saying is “My will be done!”
5. Exercise unrighteous anger. If God isn’t mad about it, you shouldn’t be either. Righteous anger glorifies God, but unrighteous anger reveals your desire to be Him. We have no right to be angry about realities that God is not angry about. Trust in Him alone; and enjoy Him beyond your situation.
What are your thoughts?
Source: MOST of these ideas were not original with me. Most were borrowed from Paul David Tripp and David Powlison in their DVD study Changing Hearts, Changing Lives. I highly recommend it!