1. This is such a thought-provoking post – I love your honesty and the balance you are striving for between biblical living and accepting the freedom of grace that God has given us.

    It amazes me how difficult it is to accept unconditional love. We have such a need to control things that has been inherent within us since Eden that we are desperate to tick all the right boxes, do all the right things to earn God’s favour. Thank God we don’t have to.

    It is so encouraging to hear your desire to be distinctive in the world and to stay close to God. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

    • It is very much a balance. I’m slowly learning what that balance means for me, but honestly I fail on both sides of that balancing at most days of the week. (I’m going to be talking about this in my next post!) Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  2. Amy Beth

    This is wonderful! I’m a recovering legalist too and have seen legalism drive my siblings away from the church entirely – which is heartbreaking (and believe me, I try to show them the real gospel each and every day) . . . I’ve probably gone even further “off the derech” from the strict fundamentalist perspective than you have. But I still believe in a creator God, the saving grace through his son Jesus on the cross, and the power of the holy spirit in the lives of Christians and through the church universal – as well as the inerrancy of scripture. I am forever grateful that, unlike my siblings, I met with people who taught me about GRACE and LOVE in addition to righteous living . . . . because it was through those lessons that I was drawn back to trying to live more in line with what the Bible teaches – only this time, not because I was following to rules to “earn” rewards from God or praise from man, nor because I was guilted into submission – but because I GENUINELY want to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly – because Jesus loved me first and I can’t bear for others not to know about him! (Which is EXACTLY the way the Bible says it should be!) . . . . So thank you, for sharing your journey – I hope it helps many others!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I’m so glad that there are people out there who have been brought back to Christ through grace, rather than rejecting him along with legalism! God bless you!

  3. You’re right, it’s all about the heart and our motivation. We act out of love, not out of a desire to earn favor from God. I tend towards legalism, so it’s something I have to be keenly aware of.

  4. […] Introduction: some self-observations about legalism Part 1: what is “legalism”? Part 2: standing under the broken heart Part 3: hiding in shame, packing up my dreams Part 4: when you “trust and obey” but your heart still gets broken Part 5: when you’ve been hurt by legalism, hold onto faith Part 6: What do Brad Pitt, Josh Groban, and Sleepless in Seattle have in common? Part 7: perfection is not possible Part 8: finding healing and freedom in secular music Part 9: “I will keep believing that God still has a plan” Part 10: Plan A, 2.0 Part 11: Modesty: a picture of grace Part 12: Disconnect: when God just doesn’t seem relevant Part 13: Roses in the dumpster: seeing God in everyday life Part 14: Cheating on my church Part 15: Can you hear Jesus calling? Part 16: Checklists, control, and motherhood Part 17: forget where you “should be” and “give God your ugly” Part 18: When your church isn’t meeting your needs Part 19: on being “in your place” in church Part 20: when your spiritual journey doesn’t look like his Part 21: “Well…it feels comfortable…” Part 22: There are no “entry level positions” with God Part 23: “Sitting on the premises” – sometimes, it’s okay not to serve Part 24: The real me Part 25: “You are God, You are God, Of all else I’m letting go!” Part 26: Leave it all behind… Part 27: Accepting grace Part 28: My motivation: “chosen, holy, and dearly loved” […]

  5. holly

    Exactly! Having a motivation of wanting to live God ‘s way because of what he’s done and who he is to me, is so much more effective than the guilt motivation. I’m glad to hear someone else say that grace has not led them to throw out holiness.

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