It was one of those days. I had taken the kids to run several errands. It was getting late and we were all hungry. Unfortunately the plan to leave for home in time to beat rush hour didn’t materialize. I started to count the minutes left before my son’s bedtime, wondering if I was going to have time to feed him. We were not only sitting in traffic, but sitting at the same intersection a couple of times through the light rotations because the lights were timed wrong. Why don’t they fix these lights for rush hour? It just makes the problem worse. The light at the block ahead of me turned green breaking my thoughts.
Swiftly, the block ahead of me started to clear out during their green light and I was still trapped at my red light, first in a long line of cars. I glanced at the changing lights. Mine was about to turn green. Good! The lights at the block ahead of me were still green. Yes!
As soon as my light turned green, I hit the gas subconsciously pleading with the light ahead of me to stay green. As I was gaining speed my hopefulness started to fade into a desperation for mercy: the lights were about to change. I was nearly there. No cops. The intersection was clear in front of me, a green light beckoning me, nothing to hinder me. I’m probably not going to make it. I’m already committed. I went for it.
It was the most graceful running-the-red-light-at-the-last-second you ever saw.
Instantly I felt like dirt. Snap! I’ve told God before I wouldn’t run any red lights. My spirit-man groaned. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Lord!” I said aloud. I knew I was forgiven, but I also knew I was about to be corrected. I felt the Lord prompting me to analyze what happened.
In a split second I made a decision to keep going. I was already committed. Um…that sounds like an excuse. Okay…I was already committed even though something in me knew I was just barely going to end up running a red light. Sigh… That was sinning willfully.
I felt Him say, “What about before that?” Before that?! What was there before that? Oh!… No cops. I suddenly felt very alone in the midst of rush hour traffic. I looked to see if there were any cops before I decided to run the red light…as if my sin didn’t count. Wow!
I have always gathered from the following scripture references that we are not supposed to sin just because we know that we can ask for forgiveness right afterward. So I have tried to make it a habit to not do that kind of thing.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Romans 6:14-5
God showed me my double standard. What if someone else had been in the car? But the Omnipresent God was there. He did see. People are not the ones who are The Judge. It doesn’t matter if there is a cop watching. God is watching. It doesn’t matter if a Pastor is standing in the room. God is there.