Legalism

Welp, I tried to write a blog last night. Didn’t go too well and I got distracted with some other things that God was sort of saying needed to be confronted. I deleted everything I’d written and admitted that I had nothing.
Hey, who doesn’t love a good Christian Meme? Like, the closest you can be idolizing something without actually idolizing it is how I feel about Christian Memes. So, today this meme came up with good old Oversaved Oscar, who is probs my favorite meme since I can relate to him all too well and it’s kinda a lot funny, yet tragic. Today Oversaved Oscar decided to Enter the Exit door, then repent for it. I laughed, because I do that. I legitmately do stupid things like that, thinking it’ll make me more holy or whatever to enter the properly indicated door at the freaking Walmart. I, of course, had to comment on it, explaining that I still do this, as a legalistic habit, and a sir who also enjoys these memes and saw my comment added me on facebook, then asked for advice. Here’s the problem- in the comment, I said that “Old legalistic habits die hard”, implying that I no longer have legalistic struggles. Except I do, and very often, as it were. So when this guy, a seminary student in Florida, sends me a message telling me about his struggles and asking how I broke mine, I died a little on the inside. I had no idea what I was going to say to this guy! So, I just asked him what legalism was like in his life.

“All I know is its exhausting. It seems like I obey out of fear, and I don’t know if I’m just not trying hard enough or if I’m being a legalist lol. I noticed I point out people’s flaws in my head almost immediately.”

AMEN, HUMAN. I feel you. So, I decided to roll with it.

Ohmygoodness, yes! I feel you. Well. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and Bible reading about this and this is what I’ve got- perfect love casts out fear. Where fear is, love cannot be. That’s not to say that if you feel like you’re obeying out of fear, then there’s no love in you. God pours love into your heart through the Holy Spirit, so there is love in you. But at any given moment, you can either be operating out of fear or love, but not both at the same time. That being said, you have to make a conscious effort to obey God just because you love Him and to not get wrapped up in the idolatry of self-condemnation or trying to be your own savior, you know? I definitely still struggle with this a lot. But it’s a process. In all honesty, I should probably try to go read Galatians again and I’d recommend it for anyone who struggles with legalism. It’s so difficult to embrace God’s love sometimes. Because as humans, we want to be able to satisfy ourselves by feeling as if we can earn our religious points for the day and feel confident in our own efforts to be godly and righteous. I think it’s just a matter of denying our right to worry about it or to look critically at others. And we’ll need lots of Holy Spirit and prayers and stuff like that. Does that help any?”

So, person reading this blog right now- legalism. If you’ve got problems with it, this is all I’ve got and every bit of it was not of my own mental processing. Seek God. There’s always hope, I promise you that. I can’t help but feel overflowing hope right now. (Kinda, you know, like Romans 15:13- Now may God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you believe, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.) If you struggle with legalism, I know with quite a bit of conviction that there is a way, and God’s gonna lead you (and honestly, myself) out of this. You know how it is, there’s purpose in the pain. To quote a wonderful friend of mine, “it may feel like Satan’s got you and won’t let go, but in honesty, God’s got you. And He won’t let go.”

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