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True Love or Legalism?

Sometimes in my Christian walk, I am accused of being legalistic or dogmatic, meaning the accuser thinks I am just checking off a 'to-do' list of how to get to heaven. I remind myself (and them, if they listen long enough) that as we keep God's commandments (the perfect law of liberty, as it states in James 1:25) we do so according to God's stipulations, not our own. It is not a card-punch system, as if to say, Well that is out of the way for today! But it is a life-style. God is able to change the heart when we come to Him in truth, and we do His will out of love for Him and to share that precious story with the lost. Many times I've been accused of being unloving in that, or legalistic, as if we are able to define these words by our own standards. Although it hurts, especially when coming from someone I care deeply about, I remind myself that God sets the standards. If someone perceives my quoting scripture or sharing what God requires for salvation, is that loving or unloving? If I tell someone who wants to jump off a bridge what the consequences of that jump are, do I care? Do I show love? I think you get my point. Sometimes the other person might not like what I say, but that does not change the love behind the words. I try as I bring up my own children to impress on them that initial perception is not always a reliable guide. We must look beyond that initial perception to the truth and intent of those words or actions. In other words, It is up to us to respond with thoughtful deliberation, not impulse.

Remember that God is the great Creator, it is He who has made us (Psalm 100:3) and He who sets the guidelines of our salvation through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38; James 4:12; 1 John 2:3) I hope and pray today that we will all consider the truth of God's word and draw closer to Him as we become more like Him each day, loving in truth.


  1. I really loved this post. This is so hard to explain to people and to live. Please post more about this if you get time :o) It has really touched my heart. Thanks! (((HUGS)))

  2. I too struggle with this very idea. The church that we worship with is constantly throwing out the idea that it's not a checklist, and I agree to an extent, but by filling people's ears with the idea that it's not, you give them all the freedom to do things their own way and not God's. Why can't there be a meeting in the middle? There most certainly is a way of life that God expects from us, there are standards set that we need to adhere to and there are definate guidelines given for us to know that we are living in a way that is pleasing to God. I don't call that a checklist but a guide book. I believe the idea of a checklist is bothersome because of the idea of our worship becoming mechanical and not from the heart. Which is a valid point, but we cannot deny that there are definate guidelines.

    Thanks for your thoughts.


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