February 8

Written by Bill Grandi on February 8th, 2021

I got to thinking about legalism this morning. I’m convinced most people don’t start out to be legalists. Unless they are raised in a church tradition that is focused on that and makes it the “hammer” to control and judge religiosity, I honestly think most people are sincere in their desire to follow Jesus. I know I was. I didn’t study the Bible to become legalistic.

I became legalistic when I tried to form gauges. You know…how-to-perform godly principles. How to pray. How to worship. How to look spiritual. How to conform. How to (fill in the blank). So I set gauges or markers to evaluate myself.

Here’s the problem with that (among many): it leads to futility. Who in the world-who in their right mind- could even think one could measure up to standards set to such a high mark? I certainly couldn’t. I was a washout, as is everyone else who tries to run their lives that way.

You see, a relationship to God is not based on “getting it right.” A relationship to God is based on communion with the Father. It is seeing the heart of Jesus.  It is seeking His Presence, unblemished by a list of “Did I get this right?” Sort of like the Pharisee who had to make sure every “t” was crossed and every “i” was dotted. What an awful way to live!

Psalm 27:4 says, “The one thing I ask of the Lord-the thing I seek the most-is to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His Temple.” (NLT)

Read that again please. Not a hint about me. Delighting in Him and His perfections. Well…there goes my so-called gauges right out the door! Yes and thank you Jesus!!

“Father, may I simply seek You. May I simply long to come into Your Presence and gaze upon You.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Diane Ronzino says:

    Oh, Amen, Bill. Amen! I love this NLT version of that verse. His Perfections, not mine. Love it!

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I can’t disagree with your thoughts regarding “becoming legalistic”. It becomes very easy to compare oneself to the world and think that somehow I my name is getting moved to the top of some cosmic leader board. The interesting thing is that I am comparing the things that I am “good at” when drawing that imaginary and fictitious conclusion. All that said, you are spot on about our relationship with our Father in heaven. It has nothing at all to do with measuring up and has everything with just spending quality time with Him.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I think that is one of the real issues Ryan. Comparing ourselves to other and we do use the “I’m good at this” as the comparison rod. What a humbling experience it is to see ourselves as God sees us.

  3. May we stop striving to live up to our own standards, and instead, trust in God’s will for our lives.
    Your sermon was wonderful this Sunday, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I agree Martha. (on the topic not the sermon) LOL Striving for His standards puts a whole twist on things. On the sermon: thank you very much.