The law has finally caught up to you. As you see a policeman’s flashing red and blue lights, you pull over to the side of the road. After driving 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, you are guilty. What do you think the policeman will say?

“You were driving 10 miles over the speed limit. That’s against the law, and I’m going to have to give you a ticket.”

Or do you think he might say this:

“So you think you’re good enough to disregard the laws around here? I’m going to give you a ticket because you obviously don’t like the policemen in this district.”

Either way you would be guilty, but the policeman could only legally ticket you for your actions. He couldn’t condemn your motives.

Let’s suppose you answered back to the police officer, “Who are you to judge me? My driving habits are my personal business. Quit trying to get involved in my private life.” I guarantee you would either get a ticket, or be taken to jail.

While you would probably never even think of responding to a policeman like that, some people take this attitude towards the church when it teaches Biblical standards for our conduct. If the pastor speaks out against drinking, dancing, attending theaters, or watching pornography on the Internet, they start to get uncomfortable because it’s personal. What they don’t realize is that the pastor is speaking on the part of God when he shows what the Bible says about these issues. If he only preaches what makes people happy, he is not preaching the whole counsel of God.

The next time you hear a truth from Scripture that convicts you, ask yourself if it applies to any area of your life. If you are “guilty,” allow the Word of God to cleanse you from your sin so you won’t have to be pulled over again.

Those who have never felt anxiety on account of their sins are in the most dangerous condition of all. — Johannes Tauler

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder