From the end of April through June, there is a national campaign on the highways called “Click it or Ticket.” This campaign was set in motion to promote seatbelt safety awareness. It is considered one of the most successful campaigns, bringing seatbelt use up to 82%. What I like about the campaign is that it is a simple reminder to buckle up. What bugs me about the campaign is that I feel like it is a little bit of a threat. If you don’t wear your seatbelt, “You’re gonna pay!”
Sometimes I think God’s laws and decrees are viewed this way. Instead of seeing them for what they are – ways of living that will help us have a more fulfilled life – we see them as rules with consequences. We read in the Bible, “Do not be drunk with wine,” but many of us interpret this as saying “Do not have any fun.” In reality, what God is saying is that you will have a more fulfilled life if you allow God to control it, rather than mood-altering substances. For when you drink too much, bad decisions usually follow. God’s instruction is for our protection.
Or, we look at passages that tell us no evil word should come from our mouths and many see it as a threat from a disciplinarian wagging his finger at us. Something like, “If you cuss, you’ll be sent to the Principal’s office.” However, the real intention is to help us live a pure life and, in a simpler sense, to keep us from digging a hole for ourselves.
Why is there a strong campaign for wearing your seatbelt? Simple. It has been proven that wearing a seatbelt lessens your chance of death and injury in an automobile accident. It is not because the government wants you to have wrinkled clothes or be uncomfortable when you drive. It’s because it wants you to be as safe as possible. The rule is for your protection and for your benefit, not so local government can make more money.
The psalmist views God’s decrees in a different light. He sees them not as a burden, but as a blessing for guidance as he walks through his life. How do you see them?
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1. What is the value of making God’s word a priority in your own life?
2. As the psalmist did, take time right now to pray and ask the Lord to show you His ways.
Psalm 119:1-32; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 2:1-16
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