Friday, September 01, 2006

Drunk Driving -- An Analogy Driving Home the Importance of Truth Over Belief

During my career as a deputy sheriff, I arrested hundreds of people for drunk driving. More often than not the people I stopped, after watching them weave all over the road, insisted that they did not have too much to drink. They believed they were okay to drive.

After having them perform a series of field sobriety tests, it was not uncommon for the impaired driver to say that they believed they passed the tests. (It never ceased to amaze me when drunk drivers thought they were a better judge of their performance than a sober deputy sheriff.)

After placing the drunk driver under arrest, I transported them to the station to administer a breath test. When I showed the person the results of their test, they believed the sophisticated and painstakingly calibrated piece of equipment was broken.

When it was time to go to trial, the person believed they would win their case by trying to poke holes in the arrest report.

Ultimately, it didn't matter what the drunk driver believed. What mattered was the truth--the truth that they had too much to drink and got behind the wheel of a 3,000 pound deadly weapon; the truth that they were too intoxicated to perform simple tests of coordination; the truth that chemical tests proved their blood alcohol level was above the legal limit; the truth that the written report that documented their crime was accurate.

Regardless of what the drunk driver believed about their innocence, it didn't change the fact that they were guilty of breaking the law. Likewise, it doesn't matter what the unsaved sinner believes about their innocence before God. What matters is the truth about their spiritual condition. What matters is the truth that they have broken God's Law and will one-day, maybe sooner than later, face God on the Day of Judgment. The unsaved sinner's beliefs, no matter how strongly held or asserted, will never change or supercede the truth.

One of the saddest and most frustrating aspects of working patrol was when I had to respond to a fatal traffic collision, late at night, involving a drunk driver. And I had to handle several during my career. Each tragedy could have been avoided if the drunk had submitted to the truth that they were too drunk to drive, instead of operating under the false belief that they were okay to get behind the wheel. I admit that there were times when I said to myself, "If only I had seen him (or her) on the road before they crashed."

Every time I arrested a drunk driver I was, in a sense, stopping and confronting a person about the truth of their physical condition, before their false belief about their sobriety caused their death or the death of someone else.

As born again followers of Jesus Christ, we must be like the police officer patrolling the streets hoping to take drunk drivers off the road, before it's too late. We must confront lost sinners with the truth of their fallen spiritual condition, before they die in their false beliefs. We must warn them of the wrath and judgment to come if they continue living life according to their false beliefs. We must patrol the streets, always on the lookout for people who need to be confronted with the Law of God and presented with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must patrol the streets as if lives depend on it--because lives depend on it.

(C) 2006

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What you state in that is absolutly true and i can't find any arguement WHATSOEVER! I wish that somebody who has been dunk in their life could read this