by Joe Carlone
This popular song from the 80’s came to my mind today while driving on the freeway and seeing a 55 speed limit sign. It got me thinking how our society is governed by laws that keep society safe and orderly, at least it’s supposed to. If you are caught speeding your issued a ticket with a fine. For the most part people obey these laws and we don’t have rampant anarchy. Most people, at least whom I have encountered, who speed and get a ticket willingly admit that they have sped and did get caught. They may not be happy with the ticket but never the less admit breaking the “law”. God also has “laws” (the ten Commandments )that govern mankind on how to keep us out of trouble with ourselves, our families, our friends and our neighbors, in short, to help us to stay out of trouble in order that we may be able to live in peace and harmony with Him and one another. But when we break one of God’s laws, admission of guilt does not come easily, in fact we usually look for a loop hole excuse to get out of it. Then if someone brings it to our attention that we violated a law of God the response is usually one of defense and the popular “who are you to judge”. In contrast, if we were to say that to someone who got a speeding ticket that they broke the law by exceeding the speed limit they would probably respond “well duh, no kidding I did”. They would not accuse us of “who are you to judge” because the speed limit law already judges them. We easily admit guilt with man’s laws but not with God’s laws.
When God’s law is broken we usually look for rationalization out of it, even Christians do this and we don’t like to be reminded of it from others. We rationalize adultery because we haven’t been getting along with our spouse. We steal something because we can’t obtain something by honest methods….etc. The excuses can go on.
Any mention from anyone about what we are doing is usually met with “who are you to judge” but God’s law already judges the violation, you are just being informed of it like the Sheriff who pulls you over for speeding is informing you that you violated a state law.
Even Christians are going to break God’s law (sin) from time to time. We should welcome the correction (or informing) of fellow Christians when we sin openly. The correction should be in a loving and encouraging way to help one another to overcome.
The apostle Paul, the greatest of all the apostles, called himself the chief of all sinners.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief “(1 Timothy 1:15 ).
He struggled with sin as he states in Romans 7 14-24~
"14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death."
In verse 22 Paul says he delights in the law of God…..and sees another law warring against his mind. How we all can identify with this struggle against the law (sin). But like Paul we should delight in the law of God and not find a loophole around it and rationalize our sin and welcome loving correction whether its from the Holy Spirit or others. I wonder though, if Paul were alive during our time would he be able to drive 55?!