Legalism. Yuck. What an ugly word. One definition of legalism is: the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws. For someone who believes that we can only be saved (come to Jesus) through His grace, legalism is the exact opposite. But for many years, I was a legalist. I judged. I looked at people and judged them by their conduct, their behavior. I worked to make sure my conduct and behavior lined up with the rules and principles of a good Christian. And if it didn’t, I certainly didn’t tell anyone. I just tried harder the next day. So fake. So gross.
I’ve been on a long journey of getting free of legalism. I’ve been on a journey of the heart – my own and others – becoming the most important thing. It’s amazing how offering up your heart to Jesus, instead of your good works, creates a much more intimate relationship. It’s amazing how when you sit with people and get to know them and their heart, judgement dissipates. It’s amazing when you come to terms with the fact that you’ve got some ugly in your heart that’s affecting your behavior, that awareness, gives Jesus permission to work on the heart – which in turn will change the behavior. It’s a process though. At any given season in any of our lives, we are in process of Jesus transforming us. A constant transformation is happening, so judging myself or others on outward appearances at any point in the process is… dumb.
So legalism and self-righteous judgements have to go. They have to be offered up for the freedom and intimacy that we can experience that is so much better.
***This is Day 30 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***