The following list is not original on my part, I am unsure of who came up with it. But even though I didn’t write it, I want you to read it.
All that’s needed is Jeff Foxworthy to add his voice and declare, “You might be a legalist if…”
1) God’s love for me depends on what I do.
2) Meeting the expectations of others, especially those in my congregation or in positions of authority, are paramount.
3) Moral and ethical questions are usually black and white and only made into fuzzy shades of gray by hand-wringing, bleeding-heart types.
4) I try hard to obey God and it irritates me that others think they can get away with avoiding the same level of dedication.
5) I fall short because I don’t have enough faith, or because I haven’t prayed enough, or because I just need to be a better person.
6) God is predisposed to be angry with me because I am a sinner. My main goal in life is to try to gain God’s favor by doing things that will impress him.
7) My sense of spiritual well-being is linked to a Christian leader or membership in my church rather than a personal relationship with God.
8) I tell my children not to do something in church or around other Christian families that I allow in my home.
9) I believe my church is God’s true church and that most other Christians may be sincere, but are sincerely wrong.
10) The exterior choices a person makes in what they wear, hairstyle, piercings, tattoos, etc. is a clear indication of that person’s character.
11) I sometimes worry that people might take advantage of grace if it’s preached too much —people might think they can do anything they want.
12) After being around Christians for a while I feel drained —weary of putting up a false front.
13) When I happen to miss a service or activity of my church I feel guilty.
14) I will likely get into heaven, even though I’m far from perfect, because I have tried to be a basically good person and God will take that into account.
So, are you a legalist? I used to be, but I still struggle. That is the reason for this blog. That is why I call myself a “recovering” legalist.