43 Comments

  1. […] This post is part 2 in a new blog series that I have entitled “the wilderness between legalism and grace,” in which I talk about the part of my life when I struggled between rejection of legalism and fully embracing God’s grace in my life. You can read the introduction to this series here this post, some self-observations about legalism, and come to a better understanding of how I define legalism here in this post, what is legalism” […]

  2. As a recovering perfectionist, I would say that I spent at least the first 2/3 of my Christian walk falling into the trap of legalism without even realizing it! In some ways, I still fight that beast today, although I’m quicker to recognize it. 🙂 I think the definition is accurate, and the part of legalism that I so easily fall prey to is trying to “be good” in my own strength rather than just allowing His goodness to flow through me. If I find myself thinking or saying, I’m trying so hard to ______, then I’m not in a good place. Because, as you voiced above, it’s not about my weak efforts, it’s about His Son and who I am in Him. 🙂

  3. this is a great post! I grew up in a very legalistic brand of christianity as well. It is so freeing to step out from that and see the beauty of God’s grace! thanks for sharing so openly about your journey. I pray it helps many people who read it!

  4. Lukewarm Laodicea

    Someone linked to this series in the comments section of another blog I stumbled across.

    Your definition is very good. When I was at my school, they defined legalism as “working for salvation” which is deceptive, misguided, and allowed them to continue teaching that you needed their (as an authority set up by God) approval.

    You nailed it.

    I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
    Thank you.

  5. holly

    I’ve stumbled on your blog from Elizabeth Esther’s blog roundup and was immediately drawn to this series, as we have recently left our own legalistic church and are looking for a grace-based home church. Thanks so much for saying so well the things I’ve been thinking but couldn’t put into words. I knew our church didn’t believe in works based salvation, but works based sanctification – exactly! I’ll probably have more comments as I read more. 🙂

    • Hi Holly! Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my entire series. I know it’s time consuming, and so glad it was helpful to you. So proud of you and your family for being brave and seeking a more grace-filled environment.

  6. Marian Goldstein

    There is nothing that I can do (or not do) that will make our God love me less or more. He loves me unconditionally.

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