Several years ago, a newspaper article focused on the speeders on the highways and the excuses they used for violating the speed limits. The title of the article was “Speeders Outgun New Limits.” The article pointed out that, in spite of many states and communities raising their speed limits, more people are speeding and at higher speeds above the limits than ever before.
The writer concluded that we are a nation of speeders and of excuses. He asked the question, “Why do we speed?” and proceeded to give five answers to that question. Interestingly enough, if you replace the word “speed” in his list of reasons with “sin,” it very well describes why people sin. It is serious to make up excuses for speeding on the highway. It is even more serious to make excuses for sinning and rebelling against the God of the universe.
1. Why do we speed (sin)? Because everyone else does, including our leaders.
The writer of the speeding article noted that a former governor of South Dakota is known as a speeder. He had received a dozen speeding tickets and had been involved in a half-dozen accidents. The writer noted that there is little or no stigma in speeding any more because “everybody does it.”
The Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Yes, everybody does it, but that does not excuse us in the eyes of a righteous God. The Bible says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20).
2. Why do we speed (sin)? Because we’re sure we won’t get hurt.
Just ask the people who have been in accidents and injured for life. They will say that they always thought it would be somebody else, not them. Officials can change the speed limits, but they cannot change the laws of physics which dictate that the force of a crash increases dramatically as the speed increases.
That is the way it is with sin against God? The wages of sin is death. The Proverbs writer notes that the way of the transgressors is hard. If we give in to sin, we become slaves to Satan. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
3. Why do we speed (sin)? Because we think we have a good excuse.
People make all kinds of excuses for speeding. “I was late to an important appointment. I had to meet the midnight curfew.” The article writer noted than many newer excuses are even flimsier. “I felt in the mood. It feels good to do it.” One speeder however said, “It feels good when you are doing it.” The implication was that the pleasure is only transient.
The Bible says that sinners are without excuse. “The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, 21).
4. Why do we speed (sin)? Because we think we have the right to do it!
It used to be that people tried to deny that they were speeding. The speedometer was off or they were not really going the speed that the radar indicated that they were. More and more people today are denying that the state has a right to stop them.
One older man told the newspaper reporter that his trip home gets long. For years he has hit 100 mph on the freeway every day on his way home. He thinks he will keep getting away with it. He made it seem so “right.”
The Bible says about sin, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
The Bible teaches that we are not our own. We are first of all accountable to God. Do we think about that when we are tempted to speed or to commit any other sin? “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
5. Why do we speed (sin)? Because nobody’s “gonna” stop us.
Policemen are very frustrated. As one officer noted, “If you stop a guy going 75 you’re going to miss one going 90 or 100.” In many areas where the speed limit is 60 or 65, significant enforcement does not begin until 80 miles per hour.
Sadly, many people think that no one will stop them from sinning either. However, the Bible says, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
We cannot hide from God. He calls us to repent of our sins and turn in obedience to Him. It is the only way to find deliverance from the consequences of sin in this life and the life to come.
-by Roger L. Berry