Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Speeding (but not as fast as others)

The other day as we were driving, a cop pulled out with his sirens on.  We pulled over to get out of his way and were surprised to find out that we were the ones he was coming after.  Sure, we were probably speeding, but we weren’t going as fast as all the other cars.  The “nice” police officer gave us a ticket for a lesser speed so the fine would be lower and we wouldn’t get as many points.  Our 5-year-old was in the back crying because he thought the cop was going to take us to jail, and we just kept thinking, “But we weren’t going as fast  as everyone else.”

Has that ever happened to you?  Or something similar, where you got in trouble for something, but weren’t the worst offender?

If you read last Wednesday’s post, you’ll remember that I talked about not comparing ourselves to someone better so that we don’t get frustrated.  I referred to the verse, “to the degree that we have already attained” (Philippians 3:16).  Well, I still hold to that, but then I was reading Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman (I highly recommend this book!). In it, he warned about our tendency to accept or excuse our behaviors because they are better than someone else’s: At least I’m better than that person.  (I’d love to pull a quote out for you, but I can’t find the book right now – probably because of my imperfect housekeeping skills…)

I think it’s really easy to fall into that trap of self-righteousness… last week I said not to compare because there will always be someone better than us.  This week, I’ll add to that, not to compare because there will always be someone worse than us and we might start to feel puffed up and think more highly of ourselves than we should.  “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” (Romans 12:3, New Living Translation)

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have good self-esteem, rather it should be based on truth.  We can’t excuse behaviors or attitudes just because they may be better than someone else’s.  We were speeding, and we deserved the ticket regardless of what anyone else was doing.

Oh yeah, back to the Word.  I realized last week why Philippians 3:16 verse didn’t stand out to me before – I was reading it in another translation.  So I thought I’d share some of the different ones:

  • Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (New International Version)
  • Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule (New King James Version)
  • But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. (New Living Translation)
  • Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. (The Message)

Lets keep our eyes on Christ and off each other and press on to live up to what we have already attained, to the degree that we have already attained, hold on to the progress we have already made, and stay on the right track!



One thought on “Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Speeding (but not as fast as others)

  1. I finally had time to read your posts and get all caught up. Love your blog, especially (or some times even though) since we have many of the same struggles and issues in life.

    This one made me chuckle. In part because we met up with you the day of the ticket. Also because it defines our driving techniques going across country. Driving around town I very rarely speed, usually the cruise is set right at the speed limit. Long trips are a much different story, going just 5 mph faster for 1105 miles can mean a difference of an hour. In any case Frank and I both used the philosophy of not being the fastest driver on the road so that we wouldn’t be the one getting the ticket. Thankfully we didn’t get a ticket, but just as you pointed out we were speeding so a ticket would have been justified. My biggest struggle with the speeding issue is that I have friends who were ticketed for impeding the flow of traffic, even though they were going faster than the posted limit (they just weren’t comfortable with 20 over so they were going about 7 or 8 over.)

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