1 Timothy 1:5-7 (NLT)
5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. 7 They want to be known as teachers of the Law of Moses, but they don�t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.

The Apostle Paul is writing Timothy, a Christian and trusted friend, on how to guard against Judaizing teachers or others who mingled fables and family accounts with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The whole point of Paul�s message is best stated by Romans 13:10, �Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God�s law.� The Law of Moses was to help people see their own faults and needs and not to be used as a weapon towards others. It was to show people how to love, how to act with a clear conscience, and how to have genuine faith in God. But others had taken the Law of Moses to use for their own purposes against others. Instead of teaching, instead of loving they were using the law to ridicule, harass and accuse others. This is what Timothy had to be on guard against.

A good question we should all ask ourselves � Are we using God�s word to correct ourselves and love others; or are we using God�s word to correct others? You see if we use God�s word to get our hearts right with God then we want to love others. However if we are just concerned about how others live then we end up disliking and maybe even going to the extreme of hating those who do not follow what we believe.

Jesus was very careful to point this out when he said how can you say to your brother, �Let me take the speck out of your eye,� and behold, the log is in your own eye? Jesus knew man was quick to judge others without looking at their own selves first. It seems we are often blind to our own faults while being quick to see the faults of others.

Love is a result of looking at ourselves and seeing our need to follow God. When we see our faults it becomes easier to overlook the faults of others. When we see our need for mercy and grace it is easier to extend mercy and grace to others. When we see our need for love it is easier to love others.

So are you looking first to correct yourself and love others; or trying to correct others? Hopefully most people are correcting self and loving others, but if not let me encourage you to think about that question. Take time to consider the logs in your life before picking at the splinters in others� lives.

Heavenly Father it is so easy to see the faults of others while missing our own faults. Help us to see instead of being blind to our own ways. Let us first correct ourselves so we can love and encourage others in the good ways of life. Amen