1 TIMOTHY 1:8
“But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,”
We have rules for a reason. Rules help us keep order. Rules guide us correctly. Rules can teach us the right way to do something. Rules can keep us honest. So, why do so many people break them? For some, their motto is “Rules are made to be broken.”
Paul addresses the idea of rules in today’s verse. The word “lawfully” is only used twice in the New Testament – here and in 2 Timothy 2:5. Paul had been a rule follower. Remember, he was a Pharisee, a law-abider and a law enforcer. He knew the law couldn’t save you, but it could guide you. The law pointed out sin which can lead to repentance.
I don’t know many children who like rules. I used to tell my staff in the Children’s homes to have as few rules as possible in their cottages. Fewer rules made it easier for the kids to remember them. That applies to our own homes as well. Rules without relationships just don’t work.
That’s why we have to help our children understand the “why” behind the rule, not just the “what” of the rule. Get them to help make the house rules. Make sure the house rules agree with Scripture. Let them hold you accountable for the rules. If you break a house rule, they should be able to point that out to you without fear of reprisal. We ALL need to be held accountable.
But aren’t you glad that the Lord is less concerned about rules than He is about relationships? You see, we should obey the Lord’s commands because we love Him, not out of fear of being punished. Obedience out of love will always be easier than obedience out of fear. Remember, the Lord gives us rules for a reason. He wants to keep us safe and teach us to be more like Him – the Law Giver.
I am thankful for Your Law, O Lord. Let me follow obediently without becoming legalistic. I want to show others the joy of obeying You willingly.