One of my biggest pet peeves is people who try to push me along the highway by cramming their car as close to my rear bumper as possible. These aggressive drivers, which in my experiences here in Texas are mostly men in either decked-out pick-ups or fancy sports cars, want me to speed along with them. Maybe they are running late, maybe they just like to drive fast. Or perhaps I’m the dog they want to kick because that day at the office has left them feeling powerless. Often times, the highway is only two lanes with a no-pass yellow stripe and very little shoulder in which to pull over. But it happens even on the mega highways when you have to be in the lane you are to get to where you are going.
They zoom in, then back off and zoom in again. Sometimes they even flash their headlights, which is useless gesture because they are driving so close I can barely see that. I glare back at their faces in my rear-view mirror and shake my head slowly, letting them know I see their antics and refuse to be swayed. I can almost feel the blood pressure rising in their cheeks as their eyebrows narrow and their mouths begin to move with words I probably would not care to hear. But, I was raised to obey the law and I refuse to break it because someone else wants to do that. Besides, I can’t afford the speeding ticket. As they sigh and zoom around me, at times showing me one of their fingers, I pretend it doesn’t hurt my feelings and wave in return.
But truth be told, it does. I hate to be cursed for doing something right. I cringe when I am being blamed for something that is not my fault, and loathe the attempts to manipulate me into believing that, in some weird and twisted way, it is my fault. My alcoholic father would do that, until he came to Christ and sobered late in his life – praise God. My late husband would do that. To accept the responsibility himself would mean he was less than perfect, a standard he could never live up to on his own, no matter how hard he tried. So, the blame fell elsewhere, often onto me instead.
There was one man who, because He was perfect, was able to take on the blame for us all. Romans 8:1 says, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. We do not have to push the blame on anyone else, because once we accept our wrongdoings there is forgiveness and mercy waiting for us. That wrongdoing is washed clean as if it never happened, though the consequences of it may have to be played out to its natural conclusion – like speeding and getting a ticket and fine, or breaking the law in other ways. Restitution has to be made. But forgiveness and wiping the slate clean is a separate act, one that Christ provides for those who believe. No more need to play the blame game.
Yet, for many that is the problem. They are ashamed to come to the one source who can heal them and show them love. They fear rebuttal, harsh punishment, and being made to feel lower than a snake’s belly. And perhaps, they feel God will think less of them, a thought that makes their knees quiver. But, the real stickler is admitting to themselves that they are to blame. That makes them vulnerable and threatens to shatter the hard shell in which they have encased themselves so hurt never reaches them. When will they realize that is the one thing that hurts the most and the love of God is the balm they so desperately need to heal that pain?
God so loved us as His children that He voluntarily hung on the cross and took on all of our sins. Ephesians 1:8 tell us, For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. He chose you, and me, and my father, and my late husband, and those aggressive souls on the highway who want everyone to break the law along with them.
Seeing that has helped me to pray for them rather than to blame them for trying to blame me.