God's Way on the Highway: Principles for Driving

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God's Way on the Highway

Principles for Driving

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Driving is something almost everyone does, and is something everyone can relate to. From our youth we’re fixated with Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars, and then we strive to finally get our driver’s license when we come of age. We spend so much time in our cars that they become part of our identity and an integral piece of our lives. If our car breaks down, we hurry to fix it and secure alternate transportation. Since automobiles are so vital to our lives, what principles should a Christian keep in mind when on the road? Does God give us any general advice about how we should approach driving a car?

Focus and Avoid Distractions

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Ecclesiastes 9:10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
American King James Version×
states as follows: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Alternatively, the New Living Translation (NLT) renders the first half of the verse as “whatever you do, do well”. God wants us to be good drivers. Beyond that, He wants us to focus on the task at hand.

When we drive, we need to pay attention to what we are doing and look out for potential hazards, including other drivers. Someone once told me to drive like everyone else is a bad driver. Further, we should not be distracted by cell phones, the radio, conversations, our thoughts, or anything when we drive. If such things are overwhelmingly attracting and hijacking our attention, remove them from the situation. Keeping the car and its passengers safe needs to be the top priority.

Have Humility

Paul writes in his letter to Philippi: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 2:3-4 [3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
American King James Version×
). Christians should not be selfish or proud when driving. Be humble and consider your actions and those of others. What would you want done if you were in their situation? Perhaps they’re racing down the road due to a family emergency and need to get over into your lane. Have empathy and be giving.

Retaliation Is Not an Answer

Aggressive driving and road rage occur more frequently than anyone would like. However, Jesus Christ gives us a simple solution in Matthew 5:38-42 Matthew 5:38-42 [38] You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: [39] But I say to you, That you resist not evil: but whoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. [40] And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. [41] And whoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. [42] Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away.
American King James Version×
. He tells us “not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” Do not retaliate and return aggression for aggression. Even if it makes you furious and upset, Christ tells you to let it go and move on. Don’t return their actions, and pull over to cool off if necessary. Let them have their accident somewhere else.

Be Subject to Authority

Lastly, obedience to the rules of the road and its authorities needs to be stressed. Christians are to be “subject to the governing authorities” as they are “appointed by God” (Romans 13:1-2 Romans 13:1-2 [1] Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. [2] Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
American King James Version×
). Submit to the rules and circumstances of the road you are on. Also, obey the police and other authorities such as construction workers and warning signs; they are there for your benefit. Some people are subtlety afraid of the police and change their driving when they see them. The Bible tells us that we can be “unafraid of the authority”. How? “Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same” (v. 3). Simply obey the law and you will have nothing to fear in its regard.

Since driving is an important part of our lives, we have a responsibility to be Christian drivers, applying the principles of God’s Word to how we drive. We need to be diligent when we drive and pay careful attention to what we are doing. We must not be selfish and proud but be humble empathetic towards others. Christians don’t retaliate aggression for aggression but instead simply let it go. Submission to the law and its enforcers is commanded by God for our good. These basic ideals can help guide our approach to driving as a follower of Jesus Christ.