The light turned green, but someone ran their red light, turning left, just a few feet from my bumper! Fortunately, I was alert and hadn’t moved, or we would’ve collided. Then, I did what most motorists do, exclaiming out loud about how stupid this driver was. Immediately, the Holy Spirit brought a verse to my mind (see notes) that cut my tirade short:
…but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. ~ James 3:8 – 10 (HCSB)
I immediately confessed my sin to God, not knowing that incident thirty-five years ago, and that verse, would shape my life. Naturally, I stopped disparaging other drivers. I expect errors and rarely react emotionally to them. Obviously, I’m not a likely recruit for the Road Rage Club.
What really changed in me was deeper still. God laid a foundation stone that afternoon in building my character. Since all people are created in God’s image, I’m very sensitive to how people are treated. I hate real-life shootings and “entertaining” movies when people are killed indiscriminately. I’m grieved by hate crimes and “us versus them” attitudes. I’m horrified when people are treated like animals. The list goes on.
I’ll never forget this intimate lesson from my loving Father.
How has God shaped you?
- The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins. See John 16:7 – 8.
- I wasn’t surprised when I took the Strengths Finder test this year that my number one trait is “Connectedness,” my sense that all people are connected.
- This image is available from Wikimedia Commons.
Have You Yelled at Other Drivers? by Sus Schmitt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.