recognizing legalism

image by geralt

Heavenly Father,
We love to keep score, to determine champions and also-rans.
Usually those with the most points or achievements
   are pronounced winners.
So I find myself comparing my works to others
   as though I’m in a game to win.
That’s not only unproductive but can be deadly in my spiritual life.
I want to win in that contest and to be known as a spiritual person.
And I’m afraid that my deeper motive is to gain favor with you,
   thinking you will love me more if I work harder and better
   in my religious responsibilities.
I can easily laugh at the Pharisees,
   mocking their legalism and hypocricy.
But I act the same when I take pride in how well I keep your laws
   (and my additions to them) compared to others.
Instead, I need to keep my eyes on Christ;
   remember that my salvation is all because of grace, not works;
   and understand that I can do nothing
   without your Spirit empowering me.
Help me know that I should do good because you love me,
   not to earn your love.

David R. Veerman, American author


If you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

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