One of my fondest childhood memories was sitting on my Dad’s lap while he was driving. (I know this is a very foreign and unthinkable concept for most us today. It is along the same line as sleeping in the back window of the car on long trips. Quite common for my generation growing up; considered child endangerment now.) Anyway, my Dad would sit me on his lap and let me steer. As I got older and could reach the pedals, I learned to shift, clutch, brake and accelerate sitting on my Dad’s lap.

No doubt that’s why I love driving so much to this day. It’s great to be out on the open highway. It’s one of the best ways for me to relax. In some ways, I suppose it is a source of security. It provides me with a sense of identity. (Interestingly enough, a few years ago when I took an online personality/vocational survey someone forwarded to me, I discovered that the perfect job for me would be a NASCAR driver!)

Perhaps the greatest thing about this is the sense of freedom driving my vehicle down the open road gives me. However, all of that freedom comes with a huge responsibility. I have the responsibility of being alert to what is going on around me and obeying all the traffic laws that protect me, other drivers, and the pedestrians I encounter. Imagine the damage I would do if I disregarded traffic laws and did as I pleased.

It’s a lot like grace. The Scripture is clear – because of God’s grace we are free; free from all the rules and regulations of religion (1 Corinthians 6:12). However, with this freedom comes a huge responsibility. Paul states it this way: “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to (serve, do what is best for) one another.” (Galatians 5:13 NRS) In Christ, I am free to do as I please, but as I mature in Christ, becoming more like him, I willingly accept the responsibility of putting the interests of the Kingdom (i.e., other believers, the advancement of the Gospel, the good of the community, the reputation of Christ, etc.) above my own. And, just like driving my car down the open road, I get to enjoy the benefits of being a grown-up!


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