07.17.18

Road Rage, Selfishness and Humility

The rain was pouring on the Los Angeles highway and puddles of water were everywhere. When you hear about California you think sunny weather constantly. But not this day. For the past two days it had been raining. Mudslides, hydroplane, people evacuating homes, and car crashes filled the news reports. I don’t think any of this phases California drivers though. To some, it is business as usual speeding down the highway. As I was traveling to my destination, I noticed a car on my right side. The guy appeared to be drifting closer to my lane. I sped up to avoid him and more than that an accident. The next thing I know, the guy speeds up only to cut right in front of me. That’s when sin said, “Surprise, I’m back!” I threw up my hands and yelled, “C’mon man, it’s raining!”  Later on, I was convicted of my sin, the things I said and reflected how much I was thinking of myself. I realized road rage actually taught me about the sin in my life. I jotted down three points of reflection.

First, road rage thinks about self rather than the other person – Often, when we are driving, our minds are consumed with where we have to be and the time we have to be there. We have somewhere to be and everyone else needs to clear a path. It’s as if we need sirens on your vehicle for everyone to move aside. But we should ponder this exhortation, “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor” (). Do we ever consider there are people on the road who have places to be as well?

Second, road rage doesn’t consider the safety of others. In fits of rage we don’t normally think of safety unless it’s selfish thoughts of our own. In fact, it is unloving.  Consider what Paul says. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth” (). When is the last time we prayed for our safety and the safety of others before and during driving? When is the last time we thought about driving defensively, so that we don’t cause an accident?

Last, road rage is self-deceiving. We tend to think we are right when we could be wrong. When someone cuts us off in traffic, could it possibly be that they genuinely did not see us? Perhaps, they were avoiding having an accident with someone else? Maybe they are driving fast because they are trying to get to the hospital? I don’t know. What I do know is that during the majority of times when I get upset and point the finger at other drivers, there are times when fingers can be pointed right back at me. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (). It isn’t wrong for you to be concerned about your own safety, your schedule or interests. But, do we care about the importance and good of others the same way we do ourselves?

I don’t know what happened to that gentleman that day. I hope he got to his destination safely. Nevertheless, I thank God for displaying my sinfulness and calling me to be more like Jesus. Driving calls us to humility, love and care. Do we really care for others the way we do ourselves? As we continue to be sanctified, let us pray to the Lord that we think of others even in our driving.

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Warner Aldridge
Warner Aldridge is a seminary student in Los Angeles, CA. He enjoys preaching and teaching God's Word and studying his wife Dominique. He loves to try new foods from different cultures and cheering for his hometown team, the St. Louis Cardinals.

C’mon Up!