February 15, 2009

Why we do what we do (Part 2)

In the last post, the question was asked: "Why do you put your foot on the break and bring the car to a stop, when you come to a red light at an intersection?"

I posed this question to several people and the same ultimate conclusions were expressed by everyone:

1) I don't want a ticket

2) I don't want to get into an accident

Some did begin by answering, "Because it is the law" To which I said, "That simply poses another question: "Why do you obey this law?" and then of course it came back to the reasons expressed in one and two above.

We do not actually go through that thought process every time we come to a red light. However, at some point we did ponder that and make a decision to obey that law and that decision (or choice) has now become habit (without actually thinking about it each time).

Clearly we choose to obey that law to avoid a negative (financial and/or physical) consequence. If you think about all of the decisions and choices you make, you will discover that they are primarily based on your desire for pleasure or to avoid pain, suffering, embarrassment, personal lose, etc.

Question 2: "Have you ever pulled up to a red light; no one is around; the light stays red for what seems like forever; and , you actually start contemplating going through it as you look all around for any sign of a police car?"

Think about how this red light situation is different.


Mel said...

Answer to question: Yes, I have contemplated it. I have actually done it.

Why does that law exist? Partly to maintain order and partly to keep people safe. If nobody is around, does the purpose of the law even exist anymore, for that moment?

Do we keep the spirit of the law, or the letter of the law?

Do we keep it because it's right to do so, or because it's in our best interests?

What would Jesus do in that situation and why?

Anymore, I wouldn't even be tempted to go through the red light, simply because I'm in no hurry to get where I'm going, and I enjoy my time in the car. It's a great time to pray and to ponder.

Great questions! Keep them coming! :)

TruthMatters said...

Wonderful! Thank you, Mel for taking part in this. Your contribution is leading right into Part 3 which I hope to post tomorrow.