Are you a Legalist? Am I?

I just recommended a post from resolved2worship that was excellent (as are all her posts.)  Here’s an excerpt:

“Legalists always exhibit certain characteristics:
Among the many~
* they exhibit periods of great highs and lows based upon their performance,
* frustrations with trying to become more holy,
* condemnatory towards others who don’t do as they do
* a lack of patience with others growing in holiness
* and usually like to control others.”

I thought that first item was interesting.  Since I have been, in the past, a person of extreme highs and lows, and since I am constantly frustrated with my lack in many areas,  it’s a bit unsettling.   


About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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16 Responses to Are you a Legalist? Am I?

  1. Anonymous says:

    All those characteristics make sense.  Since we can’t obtain perfection through the law, we would be constantly in a up and down mode.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow… that’s good stuff!!  And it gives me pause as well.  Maybe I should step back and see just how legalistic I am!

  3. jacsnews says:

    From what I have experienced in recent years, highs and lows may also simply be the result of chemical imbalance or emotional trauma.  However, I do agree that we need to continually ask God to examine our hearts to make sure that we don’t allow a critical spirit to dwell within.  Thanks for sharing this timely message.  God bless ~Judy

  4. Hmm…I’m not much of a legalist or perfectionist.  I do struggle with my closeness with God, but I think that’s because I’m not really trying to do what I know He wants me to do. 

  5. fwren says:

    I haven’t gotten to her post yet this morning ~ headed there now.  She always gets us thinking, does she not?

  6. lookin4Jesus says:

    I am afraid I saw myself in too many points on this list! 😦 Thank you for the “checklist”. I have been convicted after reading the articles about standard bearers on Spirit of Elijah’s website also. There is so much ingrained in us that it is hard to sort it all out!

  7. mom1945 says:

    In my earlier Christian years I can see all those “legalistic” traits in myself. And I see them in many who come under the label of “Conservative”. I’m a long way from arriving at perfection but I’ve come to the place that I know I can’t “work” my way to heaven so I am no longer depressed about not being “good enough”. I KNOW that my righteousness is but filthy rags. I KNOW I can’t control or make anyone else believe like I do (That’s the work of the Holy Spirit, to conform each of us to His image and not “ours”) I used to be quick to condemn others who didn’t measure up to “my standards” but I have learned that we’re all at a different place in our Spiritual walk and Gods ways are so far above ours and His grace is sufficient not only for me but for others who might not “measure up” to “my standards”. There but for the grace of God go any of us so we have no right to judge another. And tribulations ‘worketh patience’. The more we go through the more we learn to be patient with others. I haven’t arrived there yet either but praise God it’s much easier to wait on the Lord and to relax while trusting Jesus to handle the things we can’t. I can honestly say I really don’t “worry” about much of any thing anymore, but it’s taken many years and many trials to get to this place. I guess “old age” does have it’s benefits if we can learn some of these things. 🙂 Law verses grace has been the big debate since the early church!That was a pretty accurate description of “legalism!” Thanks for sharing it!

  8. I often have frustrations with trying to become more holy.  I have never considered myself a legalist because rules are important, but not enough to be judgmental about.  and I used to be quite the rebel, so I know where most folks are coming from.  I think 1 out of 6 ain’t bad…wait…that’s performance…dangCowboy

  9. homefire says:

    @cowboy_christian – LOL!  It’s just so hard to get out of that mindset, isn’t it?    I hadn’t thought about it, but here I am with another list, evaluating myself–sheesh!

  10. I grew up in a legalistic church.  Then I was a teacher at a private christian legalistic school.  I got very very tired of kids (ages 15-18) telling me how much sin was in my life and their judgmental fingers pointing at me.  They have a tough role in life … playing the HOLY SPIRIT. 

  11. Wanting to trully be like Christ is GOOD, Expecting yourself to ALWAYS be like Christ isn’t so good.Thats where the line must be drawn. Everyone has their moments of being legalistic, but as long as it isn’t their mindset, I think they are ok.Just some thoughts on it.

  12. bafocus_2 says:

    I too, like lookin4Jesus have been well blessed by the Standard Bearer articles on the website. They are under the Chariot of Fire newsletter button & there are 8 of the articles presently. I have been convicted that I am one of the Standard Bearers, indeed sometimes it seems that the articles were written about me ( at least the Standard Bearer parts). The articles have progressed from telling the difference between Standard Bearers & True Image Bearers to how to quit being a Standard Bearer and move to living a True Image Bearer life for the Lord. Awesome instruction written in an easy to understand manner. Lots of Scripture background to look up and study. Has been a great help in our lives to understand things that have and are happening around us. They are written, as near as I can tell, by resolved2worships dad. Gods Blessings!!

  13. homefire says:

    @bafocus_2 – yeah, I have wondered about that, too–her dad.    Are you sure? 

  14. bafocus_2 says:

    Pretty sure, I think she mentioned it on her site.

  15. mamaglop says:

    Being OCD, I’ve always joked that I am in danger of being a Pharisee.  Seriously, it is something I work on.  There is a fine line between legalisim and compromise.

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