I’m sure you’ve experienced rubbernecker delays. Jesus warned us that Rubbernecker Delays can cause additional accidents. Jesus said: Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2).
As I drove down the expressway, I suddenly ran into a traffic jam. Why? A rubbernecker delay.
I’m sure you’ve experienced rubbernecker delays. Usually they’re caused by a traffic accident on the other side of the expressway.
Who can resist looking at the flashing lights of police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks? Who isn’t curious to see how bad the accident is? Car totaled? People on stretchers? Dead bodies?
Despite the temptations, it is imperative not to look. Partly just so you’re not one of the drivers slowing down the traffic. But even more importantly, so that you don’t cause a crash on your side of the expressway.
It is especially dangerous if you’re driving through fog, snow, or ice.
When we lived in Western New York, I immediately forced myself to become alert when cars were sliding off icy roads. If they could lose control on icy roads, I could lose control on the same icy road.
The temptation for me was to think: “Boy, they must be stupid! They drove right off the road!! I drive so much better than they do!!!”.
The temptation was to become distracted, boasting like the hypocritical Pharisee who prayed: “God, I thank you that I am not like those foolish drivers who have accidents—like those lousy drivers who smash up their cars and skid into the ditch!” (paraphrasing Luke 18:9-4).
About that moment, my car would start skidding on the ice. I needed to let up on the gas without hitting the brakes. I needed to stop thinking how stupid the other driver was. I needed to start driving my own car more wisely.
This Rubbernecker Warning reminded me of Jesus warning us not to judge others. He said:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2).
If others are skidding on ice, you will skid on ice. If others can’t see due to the blowing snow, you can’t see due to the blowing snow. If others can’t see due to the fog, you can’t see due to the fog.
The Apostle Paul gave his own Rubbernecker Warning. He wrote:
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1).
What kinds of “ice”, “blowing snow”, and “fog” must we watch out for? What kinds of “ice”, “blowing snow” and “fog” blind us and cause us to go astray?
Some of them were described by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. Don’t go astray or be blinded by:
—anger (Matthew 5:21-22);
—lusting for things you don’t have (Matthew 5:27-28);
—breaking your promises (Matthew 5:31-37);
—hating your enemies (Matthew 5:38-48);
—hypocrisy (Matthew 6:1-7:23)
Other kinds of “fog”, “snow” and “ice” were described by Jesus in his Parable of the Sower. Don’t go astray or be blinded by:
—ignorance (Matthew 13:19);
—troubles (Matthew 13:21-22);
—persecutions (Matthew 13:21-22);
—worries (Matthew 13:22);
—wealth (Matthew 13:22).
Heed this Rubbernecker Warning:
—Don’t be distracted by problems created by the bad choices that other people make.
—Don’t add to the problems by going astray yourself or being blinded by “ice”, “snow” or “fog”.
Instead of being distracted, immediately force yourself to become alert.
Lest you fall prey to the same kinds of temptations—the same kinds of “ice”, “snow” and “fog”—that so easily entangled them (Hebrews 12:1).
Lest you be so blinded by judging others that you can no longer see Jesus: “the author and finisher of our faith”. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV).
Instead, become a better driver because you’re experienced at driving through “ice”, “snow” and “fog” without being distracted by Rubbernecker Delays—without being distracted by judging others.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
When have you judged others for driving badly? How? Why?
Have others ever judged you for driving badly? How did it make you feel?
When have you been distracted by Rubbernecker Delays?
When have you seen Rubbernecker Delays cause additional accidents?
Have you been involved in an accident caused by a Rubbernecker Delay? How? Why?