5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Resurgence roundup, 5/17/13
Fri May 17, 2013
Grace all the way
Wed May 15, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
How to be on mission in the city
Wed May 15, 2013
by Stephen Um
I Just Need To Give Myself Grace
We all create rules to follow that make us feel like we’re closer to God. This is a sin called legalism. We add rules that God doesn’t ask us to follow, feel good when we do them, or bad when we don’t, and in the process we create a new law.
Your laws are a burden
Some people make daily Bible reading into law. They feel justified and holy when they read, but guilty when they don’t. This is messed up because the point of reading the Bible is to draw closer to God, to love him more, understand him better, and have your heart transformed—but it’s easy to take the gift of the Bible and turn it into a burden. It only becomes a burden when you use reading the Bible or any other new law that you create to make you feel righteous, instead of understanding that you are only made righteous by Christ.
You can't do God's job
You can often tell someone has created a new law for themselves when they use a phrase like, “I need to give myself grace.”
When you catch yourself saying this in your heart or aloud you need to realize that you’re assuming two things:
1. You’ve created a law you’re not following.
2. You are assuming God’s position in trying to give yourself grace.
It’s so easy to use Christian-sounding words in anti-Christ ways. Repentance is a good thing; it’s one of the great gifts the Father gives us, the Son won for us, and the Spirit empowers us to do—but the important question is “who are you repenting to?”
Don’t repent to false gods, ever
When you create your own law and violate it, you are sinning against the false god of self. When you worship money and don’t have enough, don’t repent to it and pour yourself out for the money. When you worship sex and don’t have it the way you want it, don’t repent to this idol and bow down at other altars. When you worship ministry, don’t offer your spouse, kids, and relationship with Jesus on this idol's altar. Repentance to false gods will harden your heart from true repentance.
Don’t rob your own joy
This isn’t a new law. Your reaction to reading this may be to make a new law. I don’t know what law your heart is inclined to, but the way to avoid this is to go straight to Jesus. Jesus is the true king whose true grace brings life, freedom, and joy—not guilt, hopelessness, or isolation.
John 1:15-17 says, "And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
Please don’t let the laws you’ve created rule you. I plead with you to go to Jesus with this in prayer, confession, and worship—ask him to show you the grace and truth that he gives us so generously.
My new law as I write this
I like this article that I wrote, and as I read through what I’ve written, I am tempted to be self-justified by it. I’m tempted to feel good that I’ve thought of this, taken the time to help you, and feel justified by ministry. This is how devious our hearts are: we are tempted to jump from one sin to another. I’m going to take some time now to go to Jesus, admire him for his greatness, repent of my heart’s desire to rule myself, and ask that he would renew my affections and my desire to be ruled by him.