Many people think that as long as they are not hurting anyone else with what they are doing, they should be able to do whatever they want. At a funeral service this past Saturday, I heard a great illustration by my pastor Dr. Mark Minnick that explains in an excellent way why such reasoning is flawed.
Here is my version* of that illustration that so clearly explained why such a belief is false:
On a long, straight 40-mile stretch of highway in the middle of a desolate part of a Western state of the US, a lone vehicle speeds along at 25 miles above the speed limit with the driver completely oblivious for quite some time to the fact that he is going far faster than is legal. Given that there is no one else anywhere on the road on the entire stretch of the highway, the lone driver of this vehicle “innocently” exceeds the speed limit without even knowing it for a long time because he is caught up in his thoughts about many other things.
When the driver realizes that he is going way too fast, he thinks to himself that what he is doing is not wrong because there is no one else on the road that he is hurting by what he is doing. He decides to keep going at 80 mph instead of the posted 55 mph maximum speed.
About 25 miles down the highway, the driver notices flashing lights coming up behind him and realizes that a state trooper is coming after him. He pulls over and tries to tell the officer that what he was doing was not wrong because he was not hurting anyone else by what he was doing.
After all, there was no one else on the road with him at all. Of course, the office does not buy his argument and tickets him heavily for going way above the speed limit.
Just as the trooper in this illustration did not buy that what this driver was doing was right to do just because the driver thought that he was not hurting anyone, so God is not going to excuse anyone who breaks one of His laws simply because he thought that what he was doing was right to do because he thought that he was not hurting anyone else by what he did. Whatever God says is wrong to do is wrong to do whether we think otherwise because we think we are not hurting anyone by what we are doing.
To read the good news of what God offers to all of us because we have done wrong before Him, please read this post.
* My version maintains the key points of the illustration as it was told by Pastor Minnick. I wrote this version because I wanted to share this great illustration with others and do not have the time to listen to the illustration over and over again and transcribe it exactly as he told it.