Road Rage and the 10 Commandments

While driving home today I was cut off by someone, who narrowly missed my front bumper.  I slammed on my brakes and laid on my horn to advise the obviously distracted motorist in front of me of the narrowly averted impact, and I was going to leave it at that…then he “flipped me the bird,” And called me some unrepeatable phrase.   Instantly my blood began to boil…”He is yelling at me?  It is his fault!”… so I sped up to catch up to him and…well I am not entirely sure why I sped up nor do I know what I intended to do.  But as I was going about 120km in a 100km zone with cartoonish steam coming out of my ears I realized that I had let my sinful nature take hold again and in my anger it caused me to sin.  So I backed off and repented, prayed and took it easy. The rest of the drive home I stayed calm while prayerfully thinking about the 10 commandments and the 2 greatest commandments.

I have to admit that driving is a struggle for me sometimes.  I tend to speed, I admit it, and I have learned to slow down. And while real road rage is something of the past for me, I do still find myself muttering under my breath some things I would not want my kids to hear.

So here is a post for both you and I, which I have entitled, “Road rage and the 10 Commandments.” But i have geared it towards car ownership/driving in general.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me. Do you worship your car?  Do you need your car more than you need God? Do you get more upset when your car gets dinged, than when the Lord’s name is taken in vain?
  2. Is your car an Idol to you? Do you spend more time and energy on “souping up” or cleaning and waxing your car than you do reading the bible or praying?
  3. Have you ever blasphemed the name of God while driving?  Do you have episodes of road rage while driving a car sporting a “Know Jesus, Know Peace, no Jesus, no peace” bumper sticker?  Do you curse while in your vehicle?  Do you claim to be a Christian and have a big fancy and expensive, gas guzzling vehicle, yet neglect your tithe or neglect the poor?
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Do you ever road rage on the way to or from church? Do you take overly long trips skipping church to drive for 10 hours on a Sunday? The Heidelberg Catechism also says this about what God requires of us in the 4th commandment “…that every day of my life I rest from my evil ways, let the Lord work in me through his Spirit, and so begin already in this life the eternal Sabbath.”  Do you rest from your evil ways when driving?  Are you at peace when driving or are you getting upset and worked up?
  5. Honour your father and mother.  Obey those in authority over you.  Do you obey the traffic laws of the land?  Or do you think they don’t apply to you? Do you speed?  Do you pass on the right? Do you tailgate? Do you talk on your cell phone or text or change the music on your ipod while driving? Do you toss cigarette butts or other garbage out of your car window?
  6. Murder.  Have you ever murdered someone in your car?  I don’t necessarily mean hit and run (but if you have you should turn yourself in to police).  Have you ever had road rage, cursed or made obscene gestures to other drivers or pedestrians?  Have you ever had hateful words come out of your mouth while driving?
  7. Adultery.  Are you honoring you marriage vows while driving?  Are you checking out the girls/guys on the sidewalk?    Are you cruising around looking for prostitutes?  Do you see your car as a “chick-magnet” and use it to try to “hook up” with someone?
  8. Stealing.  Do you really need that car/truck /van/bike?  Did you really need to spend more on that Cadillac Escalade when a Hyundai Santa Fe would be sufficient?  Do you need to work OT to pay the payments on your new vehicle?  That is stealing time and money from your family and God.  Think about that. Do you waste money on things for your car or waste gas by speeding?  Do you steal time from your family due to your vehicle?  Do you drive when you can walk? I used to hide some of my cigarette purchases by buying them when I purchased fuel…that is stealing from my family (and could also go under lying).   What about you?
  9. Lying.  Do you lie about your vehicle?  How fast it goes, how many modifications you have made to it, or your gas mileage?  Have you lied about living in Hope to by-pass air-care certification?  Have you lied for insurance cost discounts?  Have you lied to a police officer after he pulled you over for a violation?  Have you ever tried to fight a violation when you were in the wrong? It does not matter if the police officer made a mistake on the colour of your vehicle or some other technicality on the violation ticket.  You are lying to a court and have sworn on oath to tell the truth…then you lie using a silly technicality to get out of a ticket.
  10. Coveting. Do you covet your friend’s car or strive to have the biggest and best vehicle?

If you are a regular reader of my blog you may have noticed that this was very similar to my post about Facebook.  Whenever we shine the light of God’s law on something we usually discover the same problem – sin.   And sin is the same wherever we shine God’s law.  I found that this is very true with both driving and Facebook  There is a striking similarity between Facebook and driving.  How is that? Well, we feel anonymous when we are on Facebook hidden by our computer screen, and the same goes for driving. When we are behind the wheel we feel anonymous and invincible.  While, most of us spend very little time driving – unless you drive for a living –we all seem to do a lot sinning behind the wheel. We need to know that we are sinful and depraved creatures who are selfish, proud, and full of anger. We pretend to sit behind the anonymity of our windshields.  We think we are hidden, we think we are safe, but what we need is for our sinfulness to be exposed in the light of the Holiness of God and his law – the 10 commandments is a good place to start.  Why? So that we will see how unholy we really are.  Why? So that we will see how much we are in need of a saviour to reconcile us to God… so we may repent and believe.

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  1. James Kanis says:

    I loved your article on Facebook and I love this one. I don’t mean to stereotype, but I think both of them speak strongly to young people. It’s important to remember that the inside of a car isn’t any more an escape from God than a Bible study would be… or any other place for that matter.

    • Hi James, Thanks for the kind words. I loved writing them 🙂 I guess it does speak to younger people more so than older people, as with age typically comes the development of virtues such as patience and wisdom. But it certainly applies to people of all ages. I am at least 3 or 4 years older than you 😉 and I struggle with these things. It is good to always dwell on His precepts as Psalm 1 speaks of. You are correct that “the inside of a car isn’t any more an escape from God than a Bible study would be”…but I think that for many of us, we often forget that God is right there where ever we are, be it alone in a car, or alone at the computer…it is easier to remember to “behave” when there are other eyes around such as in a bible study. This is why we must dwell on his law day and night…:)

  2. It is amazing how people change when they get behind the wheel of a car…Little irritations by other drivers become over-sized in the minds of many….Diane