3. The Legalistic Lifestyle Makes You Judgmental
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Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5
When I was growing up, I used to dread going to my great-grandmother’s house. We called her Nana. She was a Pentecostal preacher and had a small storefront church but she was the meanest person. She judged and condemned everybody. Everything was sinful and everyone was a sinner (except for her of course).
She was quick to point out the faults in others, but never admitted any faults of her own. When legalism takes over your heart, all you see are faults. There is no room for compassion, kindness, grace, love...and there is no way you are going to show mercy.
The ironic thing is this is all contrary to the way God treats us. Instead of a legalistic heart that deals with the letter of the law, let’s have a ‘lovealistic’ heart (I know, I just made up a word) that deals with the spirit of grace.
Not only do you become less judgmental, but the gospel becomes more attractive. Yes, people should be made aware of their sin. But it’s not because you are trying to condemn them, rather, it’s because you are trying to win them. It’s the way God deals with us. Because it’s his kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Final Thoughts to Consider
I hope you understand why legalism is so dangerous. The truth is there is nothing good that will come from it. Instead of producing freedom, joy, and peace, it will produce bondage, despair, and hopelessness.
I pray that we would all become agents of God’s grace...pointing others (and ourselves) to Jesus so he can set us free from the power of sin and death—both now and for all eternity.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2
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