Friday, May 3, 2013

Confessions of a Pharisee: Part 1

I have been slow to realize how much of a legalist I am. The cancer of moralism has permeated every aspect of my soul to the point that there is not a single area of my life that is not affected by a legalistic spirit.

It's been a steady reveal to me in the past year or so, just how deep my legalism root goes. I'm weekly finding another part of my life that I view from the guilty shackles of legalism.

It seems like all I know how to do is create checklists and then check things off that list. My entire spiritual life consists of doing more and trying harder. Hear a convicting sermon? I've got to create a checklist of behavior modification and try harder. Get confronted about sin in my life? I've got to please people by changing my actions. 

Because maybe if I try hard enough and do enough then I'll be good enough and then maybe God will be pleased with me. 

I'm still trying to figure out what the root of my legalism is:

-I know it involves a lot of pride that is placed in self righteousness. The thing about legalism is that it should make you humble, but it doesn't. It makes you proud. Because you rely on your own works, therefore you take pride in your accomplishments. Not to mention you are constantly comparing yourself to others who are not doing as well as you think you are.

-I know it has a lot to do with a warped view of God as father (I feel like God is always displeased with me). "If I could believe, if only for a moment, that God was not angry with me, I would stand on my head for joy." -Martin Luther

-I know it has a lot to do with a lack of belief in the Gospel, because my standing with God comes from Jesus, not from my works. 

-I know it has a lot to do with my total inability to grasp the reality of grace. I talk of grace but the concept is totally foreign to me. I cannot seem to accept grace.

I apologize for the despairing tone of this blog today. This is just me being transparent with my struggle. And if King David could be honest with the Psalms I can be honest with a blog right? And I can't be the only person fighting this battle.
The thing is, I know the answers. But everything I can think of to help increase my faith in the Gospel puts me back at making some kind of list and checking boxes. Sometimes knowing the answers doesn't really help.

It seems like music is mainly how God is speaking to me of grace these days. I listen to songs that speak of the goodness and kindness of God and I weep. 

I need You Jesus. 

"I want to believe! Help me believe!" -Mark 9:24

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