I know a number of people whose life's motto is that everyone out there is trying to either rob or kill them. Years ago, I would have laughed it off as paranoia. But nowadays I think it's somewhat justified.
Defensive driving is a wise way to drive a vehicle. By looking for the worst-case scenario every time you drive, you could save a life—maybe even your own. Many drivers who fail to drive defensively and have killed someone end up with a lifetime of regret. If only they had seen it coming, they could have been ready and perhaps avoided a terrible tragedy. Can you imagine the horror of backing your vehicle over your own toddler, who had crawled out the front door onto the driveway? Defensive driving always looks for the child on the driveway, or the one who may run onto the road between parked cars. It is ready for the driver who suddenly crosses lanes in front of you.
Your knowledge of other drivers can be extremely helpful to you. You will drive defensively if you are aware that some drivers will check their texts while driving, look at their GPS, eat sandwiches, have a drink of soda, brush their hair, check their appearance in the mirror, or drive while drunk or on drugs. And they will do these things right next to you on the freeway.
Your knowledge about your fellow man can also be very helpful, because it will dictate how you live your life. If you think that human beings are good by nature and that those who want to rob and kill are very few in number, you may venture alone down a dark alley at night. Or you may leave your wallet on a restaurant table while you visit a restroom.
But if you believe what the Scriptures say of every human being, you will lock your door, lock your car, have a good password, and draw your curtains at night.
Over 200,000 fellow Americans were murdered in one recent ten-year period in the United States. Many a lone female jogger has been tragically murdered because she was naive about the wickedness of the human heart.
Keep in mind that every murder, every rape, and every robbery in our country is a crime that has been committed with the restraint of criminal law. If you want to know how evil human nature is, imagine if crime was made lawful, if there was no punishment for robbery, rape, or murder. Imagine if any man could rape any woman he desired, rob any bank he wished, or murder anyone he disliked, with the guarantee that there would be no prosecution because it was no longer a crime.
As Christians, we don't even trust our own heart. The Bible says, "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool" (Proverbs 28:26). This is because when we say that mankind is evil, we include ourselves. The only thing that stops us from giving our heart to gossip, lust, jealousy, greed, and selfishness—things that God considers to be evil—is the restraint of the fear of the Lord and the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
So if you want to stay alive, cultivate the fear of God, keep your heart with all diligence, and lock your door at night. Keep away from boozy bars, crazy drivers, dark alleys at night, and live by the motto often seen in store windows: "We trust in God. All others pay cash."