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Stop Pointing Those Legalistic Fingers

Being on the judgmental reprimand of legalism can become both heart wrenching, and emotionally suffocating, but mostly spiritually crushing. For those of you who may have never heard of the term (It’s typically used only within the church), it may be defined as a person who excessively adheres to the law of religion as opposed to adhering to faith with Jesus Christ.

There are several ways in which legalism can be named, but they all have one common theme: Spiritual Supremacy. In other words, legalism leads people to believe that they have the right to judge others and their actions because they have a greater hierarchy status with God simply because of their name, money, or religious heritage.

While Jesus dealt with legalistic issues through the Pharisees, The apostle Paul was dealing with the same concerns with Rome.  In Romans, Paul brings forth a valid argument in regards to legalism.

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently. (Romans 14:1 MSG)

The walk for a follower of Christ will not look the same for everyone.  We are all individual creations of God who have been uniquely gifted and uniquely purposed.  Be quick to forgive and let go of judgement. We also must remember that God is the ultimate judge, not man.

It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other. (Romans 14:6-9 MSG)

All of us are equal in the eyes of God; we are all sinners. Therefore, if you have fallen to the entrapping lies of legalism, repent and turn away from your judgements and fix your eyes upon Christ Jesus.

Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. (Romans 14:10-14)
Although religions of the world have fallen prey to the legalistic lies of Satan, legalism within the body of Christ can do just as much if not more damage to an unbeliever turning away those who may desire to know more about Jesus but have been burned by legalistic words.  Even a new believer may feel judgmental eyes upon them causing questions of doubt to stir with in.
So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault…Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. (Romans 14:19,22 MSG)
We as a church, not matter how long we have been walking with Christ must stay healthy not just in our body, mind, or emotions, but also within our spirits.
What has been your experience with legalism in the church?

About Renee

Renee
is an author and editor for The Bottom Line Ministries as well as a member of Faith Writers. Currently she teaches high school language arts. She is a mom to four amazing blessings and enjoys every moment life has to offer. Renee has a fervor and drive to learn, she loves to read and spend time with her family, and is involved with her local church ministries. Humbled by God’s gift of words, she has a passion to write what the Holy Spirit has placed in her heart. She hopes to publish her in-progress book someday, but in the meantime, is honored to be placed as part of the TBL writing family and is holding on to the ride wherever God is leading. Renee and her family reside in their country home in Holland, Iowa.

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