Remind Yourself of God's Grace, and Relax in It
“I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith” (Philippians 3:9 NLT).
Legalism will rob you of happiness. It’s the attitude that you have to prove your love to God, which means you have to make sure you do everything exactly right. It’s thinking you have to follow rules and regulations and restrictions in order to prove yourself worthy. One of the consequences of being legalistic is that we then force the same expectations on others, thinking they also have to prove their worth to God.
Legalism will suck your life dry of happiness. It sucks churches dry of happiness. Everybody’s just there out of duty or guilt.
How do you know when you’re being legalistic? It’s when you’re judgmental of other people. How do you know when you’re living by grace? It’s when you’re gracious to others. People who live by grace often find it easier to forgive because they recognize that God continues to forgive them.
When you finally realize there’s nothing you can do to make God love you more, it is one of the most liberating feelings in the world. And it is a key to happiness. Every day, remind yourself of God’s grace, and relax in it.
Talk It Over
How have you dealt with the feeling that you have to prove your love to God?
Even if you trust in God’s grace, what are some little traps of legalism that still occur in your daily life?
Philippians 3:3 says, “We Christians glory in what Christ Jesus has done for us and realize that we are helpless to save ourselves” (TLB). How can you “glory in what Christ Jesus has done” for you?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.