Bearing with Failings

April 25, 2023 | Jaci Miller

Tailgating, cutting cars off, speeding. Drivers generally unconcerned with anyone other than themselves. Yes, I’ve noticed increasing selfishness on the road. As the culture becomes more self-centered, naturally so will its driving habits.

Especially irksome? Those who refuse to wait in line at a lane merge and zip through the ending lane to reach the front of the line. Gah. The utter narcissism.

Maybe you’ve encountered these people. Maybe you are these people.

For a long time, I tried to compete with them. My sense of justice compelled me to floor the accelerator to keep the jerk at the end of the line. No way was I going to let him (or her) get away with such self-centeredness.

Dumb. Dangerous. Plus, in this game of “Chicken,” I always gave way. (I like my car mobile and intact, thank you very much.) It frustrated me to no end “losing” like this. But the thing about selfish people? I can’t change them. They just push ahead.

When it dawned on me that I couldn’t change those drivers, no matter how fast I drove, I realized I had to change.

Romans 15:1 says “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.”

By trying to compete with those drivers, I lowered myself to their levels. Instead of bearing with their failings, I added mine to the mix. I had been trying to please myself.

Besides, James 1:19-21 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

I snapped right to anger when I saw other drivers acting that way. Yet Scripture admonishes me to be slow to anger because this anger doesn’t result in what God wants. He wants righteousness. Not self-righteousness.

As frustrating as selfish people can be, I think God is (probably) less concerned with their driving and more concerned with the state of our hearts. Bearing with others’ failings and slowing my anger response can produce fruit in me, making me less selfish. And in our crazy world, every little bit helps.

In what areas do you need to bear with another’s failings?