1 Timothy 1:8
“But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;”
In Paul’s discourse with Timothy, he talked about those who had “swerved” from the faith. These disobedient people had gotten caught up “fables and endless genealogies” instead of “godly edifying which is in faith.” Paul made it clear to Timothy that the “law is good.” He revealed that the only reason they didn’t like the law was because they were the ones breaking it. He showed how those who lived according to the Scriptures had no problem with living a holy life that is separated from the world.
There is always a group of people in every generation who despise those who continue to preach the importance of living a holy and separated life. This group of people will always criticize those who talk about the importance of the Christian dressing according to scriptural guidelines. They will be critical of soul winning and direct preaching. This critical crowd twists the grace of God and use it as an excuse to live and look like the world.
Why would these people be so critical of those who believe it is important for the Christian to live, talk and walk according to the Scriptures? Verse 9 shows us when it says that they are “lawless and disobedient.” In other words, the reason they don’t like the rules of the Scriptures is because they themselves are living contrary to what God’s Word teaches. The only way they can justify their worldly lifestyle is to attack and criticize those who are doing right. Let me give you some advice from these verses that will help you in dealing with the lawless and disobedient.
First, don’t let the lawless and disobedient shame you into compromising. You will find that many of those who compromise become the most critical people in an attempt to shame you into silence. You cannot allow their boisterous and critical spirit silence you about truth, or to cause you to compromise what you know to be right according to the Scriptures. Just remember that part of the reason they are so critical is because your righteous living convicts them of their unrighteous lifestyle.
Second, let your satisfaction of doing right come from the Scriptures. Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” There is nothing to feel guilty about doing right. In fact, you will find a peace in your heart and life when you are doing right. Your satisfaction must come from right. Don’t worry about being liked by the in-crowd. You will find that those who do right often seem to be in the minority, but what you don’t consider is that most of the time there are more who desire to do right than those who want to do wrong. Just do right, and let the Scriptures be your source for approval and not mankind.
Third, don’t waste your time trying to convince the lawless and disobedient; let the Scriptures do the work of conviction in their heart. If you are not careful, you will become so obsessed with trying to change the lawless and disobedient that you stop doing what you are supposed to be doing. My friend, you will never change people; only the Holy Spirit of God can do that. Just stay busy doing what you know the Scriptures teach you to do, and you will find that many of the critical voices will be silenced when the fruit of their sin turns to reaping time. Don’t be hateful towards the lawless and disobedient; just remember that they hate the standards of holiness because they are disobedient.