Between The Lines

We have a feature on our car that beeps every time we wander over the center line or solid line in the road without signaling.  Sometimes it catches me off guard because I’m thinking about something besides what I should be – driving.  But there are times I swear that I never crossed that line and I still get beeped at.

I got to thinking about what it would be like if I had a feature in my life that would beep every time I crossed the line, whether thinking or unthinking. I can cross the center line and get run over by “oncoming traffic” or I can cross the solid line and end up in the “ditch”.  Not only can I get hurt but I can hurt others.

What does it look like when I cross the center line?  I easily cross that line in my mind when I take my focus off of Christ and onto me.  I get caught up in what I want to do and how I’m going to go about it.  I think of how hard I work and no one works as hard as I do.  I don’t remember all the blessings the Lord has provided and want more even though I have all I could ever need.  I let other people’s opinions cloud my perspective on who I truly am in Christ.  I get stuck in the “ditch” when I think it doesn’t matter what I do because nothing turns out the way I think it should.  So I just don’t do a thing.  It’s pretty depressing when you start writing it all down.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, said something to them and then walked away.  Later in the day you start replaying the conversation and realize that you may have hurt them gravely or you could have at least used a little more tact?  I am so guilty of crossing those lines without thinking and then I pay the consequences of that move by hurting people by my words or what I have done.  Apologizing is agonizing.

But I do have two features in my life that warn me if I’m crossing the lines and that’s the Holy Spirit and the Bible.  If we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit lives within us. (1Corin. 6:19).  If your conscience is bothering you, that's the Holy Spirit telling you you're getting close to crossing the lines.  Don’t ignore him.  I know for a fact that I have heard him and ignored him and suffered for it.  People who love me suffered for it.  The Bible is a treasure trove of ways to stay between the lines but you have to read it!   2 Timothy 3:1-5 gives us some idea how easy it is to be over the lines.  It is very difficult to stay between the lines because people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, being disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad.  They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality.  They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good.  They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to spending time with God.  This list could be us and we're going to have a major wreck!

How are you crossing the lines in your life right now?  It’s not too late to heed the “beeps”.  Listen to the Holy Spirit and read your Bible.  Stay between the lines!

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