Scroll Top
The Root of Road Rage

Weekly Devotionals

The Root of Road Rage

And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Matthew 6:13

One of the greatest inventions of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries was the automobile. What it did and continues to do in allowing persons to express and live out individual freedom is nearly unparalleled in its availability to the masses. When a person has been relying on public transportation all their lives and finally gets their own car, the feeling of independence is exhilarating and liberating! Sarah Seo in this article in the Atlantic points out:

From the automobile’s early years, Americans have viewed cars as their private spaces and as symbols of liberty. Unsurprisingly, manufacturers have capitalized on the ready symbolism. “To own a Ford car is to be free to venture into new and untried places,” a 1924 advertisement proclaimed. Almost a century later, a commercial reimagined a scene from the Revolutionary War with American soldiers charging British redcoats in Dodge Challengers. The tagline: “Here’re a couple things America got right: cars and freedom.”

The automobile is the expression and extension of my domain. It’s my car. It takes me to where I want to go. I can keep my stuff in it. The model, make and color is a reflection of who I am. I drive the way I want to drive. I have the power to take life by hitting others. I have the power to give life (in terms of exhilaration or helping others). The automobile is perhaps the ultimate expression of individual liberty.

And I think this is why many of us get so angry when we drive. When someone cuts me off, they infringe on my domain, on my liberty, on my space, on my power. And so very naturally, many of us want to defend our domain and our liberty by fighting back (listen to PD’s sermon yesterday, starting at 1:27:20). We cut them off in return, we curse them, we pull up next to them and stare.

Now, to an extent, there’s nothing wrong with having our own sense of domain, liberty, and freedom when we drive our own car. In Genesis 1:26-28, part of the creation mandate was for humankind to exercise dominion and rule. Driving a car can fall in that category. The problem is that in our fallen, sinful disposition, we don’t know how to exercise dominion rightly. That’s why our road rage is not righteous. It’s actually wicked (I’m the first to confess this).

This is why we must remember the end of the Lord’s Prayer… “Yours is the kingdom.” The word kingdom is broken into 2 parts: king-dom. So a kingdom is a dome/domain over which there is a king. We all have our little kingdoms where we exercise rule and authority, and this is good. But ultimately, our own kingdoms must fall under the Lord’s kingdom, one of whose chief characteristics is “love your enemies”/”turn the other cheek.”