Fake Brakes and the Gospel

When I get to heaven, I'm going to ask God why He coded the "fake brake" reflex in the foot of every woman. My mom has it, my wife has it, and my friends report that their wives and mothers have the same trait.

You know the "fake brake." While driving, you approach an intersection (or another car) at a rate of speed that is uncomfortable for the female in your car, at which point they simultaneously reach across to restrain you, put their other hand on the dash to brace themselves, and stomp on the fake brake that they believe has magically appeared on the passenger's side of the car.

As if their arms and a non-existent brake are going to be enough to restrain either of us from flying forward in the event of a crash.

Kari assures me that she trusts me as a driver. The fake brake is just a reflex. She just wants to be sure... just in case.

I talk to a lot of people whose reflex is trying to fake brake their way into eternity.

"Think you'll go to heaven when you die?"


"What makes you so sure?"

"Well, I trusted Jesus as my Savior when I was six... and after all, I go to church every Sunday, read my Bible, give to the poor, listen to Christian radio, teach Sunday School, and put a Jesus fish on my bumper."

If I had a quarter for every time I'd heard that explanation...

It's not that people have a hard time trusting Jesus. It's that we have a hard time trusting Jesus alone.

We fake brake it... Just in case.

As if our filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) are going to be enough to carry us over the line if Jesus fails...

Here's the problem: it's awfully hard (read: "impossible) to trust Jesus and trust ourselves at the same time. Either Jesus is our Savior, or Jesus us helping us be our own savior. It can't be both.

If the real brake fails, the fake brake ain't going to be of much help. So trust Christ alone, and enjoy the ride. Do all those other things because you get to, not because you feel like you're helping Jesus drive.


chloeadele said...

well said

chloeadele said...

I read this yesterday and thought of this post:

"Christianity does not begin with walking; it begins with sitting. Most Christians make the big mistake of trying to walk in order to be able to sit, but that is the reversal of the true order. Christianity is a queer business! If at the outset, we try to do anything, we get nothing; if we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity begins with not a big DO, but with a big DONE!"

quote by Watchman Nee, a famed Chinese evangelist.