“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly” (I Timothy 1:8 NIV-Read through v. 16).
In this letter (passage of scripture), Paul is mentoring Timothy to help him in his ministry. Apparently, Timothy has run into some people who want to hold him accountable to the letter of the law given before by Moses, but Paul has taught Timothy about grace–God’s unmerited, impossible to earn–favor.
Think back for a moment. How many laws govern this land? Why were the laws written? It is important to note, that the laws governing most countries are written because of the things that people have done or could do that infringes about the rights of others. Remember the “wild, wild west” in the US? Everyone had a gun and did exactly as they wanted to do. Why did townspeople create positions for Marshalls, Sheriffs, Deputies? Positions/roles of authority were created to control “the lawless” (those without morals or values or understanding or compassion). Are we regressing to the days of the wild, wild west? Lawlessness, where everyone thinks they have a right to do what they want to do, when they want to do it. Are we yet without morals and values? Are we yet without compassion and understanding?
As Paul reminds Timothy, laws or rules are good when they are used appropriately. When laws are twisted to pacify every whim of whatever a person wants to do–creating mass confusion, allowing and promoting immorality, and totally ignoring values that were taught and promoted to maintain a civilized society–lawlessness prevails. How do we return to a state of being where we can “love”, exercising the greatest commandment or law given so that there is no confusion?
Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to recognize our role on an individual basis as a keeper of the law of love and corporately so we have no need to keep writing laws that get twisted and changed at the whim of man’s fickleness. Help us to seek You so we might know how to live in this world, recognizing each and every person’s rights to live in harmony, without chaos, or fear of what someone might do. Help us to see the need for love so we might live a peaceable life, having values and promoting morality for all to eradicate the immorality that abides in the hearts of many. Help us to understand and walk in Your favor! Help us to understand and to be grateful for Your mercy! Help us to understand that Your mercy and grace are not to be used as an excuse to be immoral or commit acts against mankind that are not of You! Amen!