As technology grows and permeates our lives more and more, new laws are sometimes required to keep pace. One example of this is the recent need for a law to ban texting while driving. Articles such as this one from the Miami Herald assert that the laws that have been passed are a good start but more restrictive laws are needed. It is my opinion that a law that restricts distracted driving encompasses all of the various forms of distraction and a new law specifically about texting is redundant and unnecessary. It seems that a valid solution would be to find ways to enforce the law that exists rather than create another law that still is worthless without enforcement. This is at least my initial reaction.
This started me thinking in a little different direction though. Matthew 22:37 says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38 This is the great and first commandment.39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
God implemented things in a little different order but the idea is a little similar. God wants people with hearts that belong to Him, that love Him and His people. Even though he can easily see the condition of our hearts, he also could see that we don’t follow directions very well so he really spelled out what it looks like to have a heart that is right. That’s the law. The specifics. Do this and you’re doing fine. Don’t do this or you’re out of line. If you never lied, sacrificed all the right animals, never had a lustful thought, and were so good that you did every law right, but didn’t have a heart of love, you’re still broken.
So picture this. You’ve avoided all the things the law specifically prohibits. You’re not texting, not calling anyone. You even turned off your phone and threw it in the trunk to avoid any possibility that you’d do anything with your phone. You’re driving along and the pencil that was sitting on the passenger seat rolls onto the floor, and you reach for it looking away from the road. Oops, you’ve just run over a pedestrian who stepped out in your way.
Overlaying the spiritual on this gives me an interesting perspective. A person that is transformed and desires to have a heart of love will set down their cell phone(specific sins) because they know that those things hurt themselves and others. It helps a little to see how futile it is to freak out about the individual rules and ignore the reason behind it all. Imagine someone looking sideways and yelling out their window to another car to harass the other driver for glancing at their phone, all while they drift into oncoming traffic.
This isn’t a perfect allegory but I found it rather interesting. What do you think? Where is Jesus in this if he fits? Maybe blocking the view of the police officer watching from the roadside.