Legalism Will Steal Your Joy

In my Christian journey, I have come across many legalists. Legalists, in the strictest sense, are those who add something to Christ for salvation. Practically, they are those who believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation but rant and rave over such things as music, pulpits, buildings, and whatever they feel like condemning so they can feel and portray themselves more righteous than you. Here are the qualities they possess:

1. They refuse to find the humor in things because they are so busy looking for something to slam. Lighten up a little! Have you ever read the verses about joy? Or does it bring you joy to be so negative?

2. They rant and rave anywhere they can about sins they don’t commit, but don’t you dare talk about their sins. When all is said and done, they’re hiding a lot more than you could ever imagine while nailing you to a cross because you don’t fake it like they do.

3. They resemble the religious people of Jesus’ day. Jesus addressed them constantly on their condemning spirit. Modern legalists focus more on one specific part of the Bible rather than the whole. They don’t operate in the love of Jesus. They are so duty-driven that they don’t even enjoy what they do for the Lord. 

I praise God that He delivered me from this enslaving spirit. If you are enslaved, God will deliver you too. Find the joy of the Lord today. In this case, you can have your cake and eat it too.

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9 thoughts on “Legalism Will Steal Your Joy

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  1. Amen! Legalism really will steal your joy, and your sense of humor, too. Ironically when we simply admit we can never be worthy of the sacrifice He made, we will never be “good enough,” we develop a desire to seek His favor, to do whatever we can to be pleasing to Him.

  2. Thanks Matthew. Yes, we can become so adamant in our defense of the Gospel of grace that we become worshippers at the altar of legalism. There is a danger in becoming so sanctimonious and judgmental that we adopt a bunker mentality – us against them- rather than reaching out to the lost and our fellow brethren in graciousness and love. Yes, there’s GREAT JOY in the Lord and in His grace!

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with Insanitybytes22. Our joy is in knowing that Jesus paid it all, and because he did, and he chose us, it makes us humble, grateful, and desirous always to be obedient to his commands.

  4. Very true. Good post. Good analysis of the legalist. Those in legalism are often blind to their own self-righteousness so this post is important and I pray God would use it for those who need it.

  5. Keeping away from little non-essentials without giving ourselves a ” grace pass to sin”- That is what I want to able to say I feel I am at some point. Legalism also really has a way of minimizing the cross. To me, it can be like spitting in the face of Jesus and the cross.
    Good post brother –

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