What’s Driving You?

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus …”
Romans 8:1

We recently renewed our car insurance and I am grateful. For the past six months, I have had a small monitoring device in my car that beeps when I don’t brake as slowly as it thinks I should. It has driven me a little crazy at times!

What I noticed about myself is my propensity to try and drive to the satisfaction of the plug-in. Because I did not want my insurance premiums to increase, I became preoccupied with avoiding the little beeps of judgment. What happened in turn was that my attention was distracted from the road and not focused on driving safely and responsibly.

Now that we switched insurance carriers, I have been freed from this little judgmental computer. I can now completely focus on the road, on being present, watching for hazards, for the light changes and how to responsibly get to my destination.

All of this got me thinking: Is this newfound freedom similar to the spiritual freedom we have through the Cross? We can easily fall into the trap of thinking the Christian life is lived through spiritual hen-pecking. Criticism. Little beeps of judgment here or there when we do not do exactly what we should. The result? We end up distracted and preoccupied, focusing our attention on trying to keep that voice of judgment at bay.

However, in Christ there is no condemnation. We are free. The result is not that we become monsters on the road driving however which way we like, disregarding for the highway code or other drivers. The result is that we are freed from being slaves to criticism. We can get on with driving to our destination. We can be human, we can relax, can pay attention to those around us, heed the signs on the road, drive responsibly — and know we’re forgiven when we make mistakes.

(And to stretch the analogy a little further — we now have the Holy Spirit who is no backseat driver or a judgmental computer, but a loving and gentle coach, guiding and prompting and helping us become all we were made to be.)
The Rev. Dr. Suse E. McBay, Ph.D.
Associate for Christian Education and Riverway
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