Paul is very clear when he tells us, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2 NIV). In spite of how we might try to twist the Scriptures, as Christians we have a God-directed responsibility to obey the laws that our government has established (unless the laws contradict God’s Word). We also need to ask ourselves what kind of example we are to the people who know we are Christians and who we are trying to reach with the gospel of Christ. How many times have we seen someone speeding by us, only to notice the fish or some other Christian symbol on their bumper? This definitely sends the wrong message.
It is interesting how we try to justify our actions, even knowing they are not in compliance with the will of God or with established laws. As for exceeding the posted speed limit, we often tell ourselves that it’s not nearly as bad as the so-called “bigger” sins such as lying or adultery or murder. But Solomon, the wisest man to ever have lived, put it this way: “Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding” (Proverbs 10:23 ESV).
Though some will think nothing of breaking the law, we know assuredly that some will be quick to point out our hypocrisy. As followers of Christ, we need to carefully consider our manner of life in all things before the Lord, and this includes our driving habits. It was the prophets of old who declared, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight” (Isaiah 5:20-21). Malachi goes on to tell us God’s weariness with Israel when they, oblivious to their sin, said to Him, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” (Malachi 2:17). May we not follow the example of the ancients who wearied God with their lame excuses and justifications for their evil deeds.
Yes, speeding is a sin (as we’ve learned from Romans 13:1-2). Again, we must always consider our manner of living not only before the eyes of the Lord, but also before the eyes of our fellow man. The reason we don’t break the law by speeding is that we love God and respect His authority. It was Peter who commanded, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:13-15).