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Tailgating
by John Telgren
02/07/10
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One of the things I cannot stand is when someone is driving right on my tail. Obviously they are in a hurry to get someplace, so they drive right on my tail, evidently hoping I will speed up to get them off my tail or pull over so they can pass. Then there is the same sort of thing trying to leave the parking lot after a football game. Everyone is following so close behind the person in front of them in order to keep someone from cutting in front of them. I'm not sure what difference one car length is going to make in getting out of the parking lot.

This kind of driving leads to fender benders and at times serious accidents. I remember as a new driver thinking it was stupid for an accident to be my fault if a driver in front of me slammed on his brakes and I ran into him because of it. In response to my retort, "He shouldn't slam on his brakes like that!" was the response, "You shouldn't follow so close like that!" This is true.

Then I learned something called "defensive driving." Accidents could be avoided if you learned to drive defensively. Rather than relying on other drivers to watch out for you, you need to drive defensively and watch out for them.

This same principle applies in other areas of our life. All too often, the reason we "wreck" in life is because we were not driving defensively. We make a wreck of our faith and can hurt not only ourselves, but people around us. Sin destroys relationships, wrecks homes, and worse yet, comes between us and God.

When it comes to sin, we are warned not to tailgate it. Scripture instructs us to "flee immorality" (1 Cor 6:18), to "flee from idolatry" (1 Cor 10:14), to "flee from these things [the love of money]" (1 Tim 6:11), to "flee from youthful desires" (2 Tim 2:22). Flee, flee, flee. Do you see a pattern here when it comes to various kinds of sins? Don't flirt with it. Don't tailgate. Keep your distance from it. Stay away from it.

I am reminded of the time when I was entrenched fully in a worldly way of living. I had done many, many things I didn't believe in. Many things I did I had said I would never do. Yet there I was, doing them on a regular basis with gusto. No one had any inkling that I was a Christian or had ever been one. I didn't set out to do it. However, I was tailgating. I got to close, and eventually, I wrecked. Fortunately, God is a God of restoration and will make things right again. He is the greater healer, and restorer.

However, many people still bear the scars of the "wrecks" of their life. The instruction is obvious. Do not tailgate. If you are attracted to him or her and are married, flee! If you are drawn to be with ungodly friends and tempted to do what they do, flee! If you are tempted to buy things you ought not to in a store, do not go there, at least not alone. If you are tempted by the opposite sex, make a vow not to be alone with them in your home. Do not tailgate, or you will find yourself in a wreck.





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