I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
I am so grateful to God that He has graced me with an even-keeled temperament most of the time. When life's punches come at me, more than likely, I will duck and roll with them, desiring to placate a situation instead of fueling the fire. But Lord, forgive me! When it comes to being behind the wheel of my car, I'm the devil in disguise!
Please don't get me wrong. I'm not the one who incites road rage of any kind, but if someone in another vehicle pulls an inane or dangerous stunt, my first reaction is one that in no way mark me as a child of God.
So naturally, I am drawn to this passage in Chapter Nine of Jerry Bridges' book, The Discipline of Grace, where the author describes being frustrated by living in a tourist town, and exasperated by these visitors' lack of familiarity with it when he is in a hurry to get to work, at a Christian organization, no less: "If I would be ashamed to have a tourist identify my impatient driving with a Christian, how much more should I be ashamed before God. After all, He is the one I have committed myself to, to seek to please in all my thoughts and words and actions. So our commitment to pursue holiness must embrace every area of life and must include both the significant and seemingly insignificant things we do."
Oops! If we are committed to following the Lord and His commandments, are we setting that same example for all those who observe us in our daily lives? Or are we negligently content to allow that devil-in-disguise persona to rear its ugly head?
Bridges offers more welcome advice as to how we can overcome weak spots in our lives that could lead to others not seeing us as Christ-followers: "In addition to an overall commitment to pursue holiness in every area of life, I find it helpful to make specific commitments in areas where we are particularly vulnerable or prone to sin."
Specific commitments . . . Mine? Here is the decal I've placed as a bold reminder on the rear window of my car.
Talk about a wake-up call! You better believe displaying this Christian statement grabs my reins before that wanton, intemperate horse can even think of escaping its stall.
Some days, behind the wheel, are harder than others. But as the psalmist declares above: I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.
Haven't we all, as Christians, vowed to follow Christ, to be His hands and feet in this world, to set an example of the love and grace found only in Him?
I know we have.
Is it ever easy? No! But it is, with God's help, ever possible.
In what area(s) do you need specific reminders to keep the commitments you have made to God?
Prayer: Father, we thank You for Your help when it comes to keeping our oaths and commitments to You. We will fall and we will fail, but we can rest assured that You will correct our steps and keep us on the paths of righteousness when we confess our sins and ask, with penitent hearts, for Your forgiveness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.