“Are You a Lawyer?“
Two weeks ago at our local farmer’s market, a lady was interested in my art. After talking for a moment, she asked if I had a business card I could give her. Of course!
Now, this week I am set to receive my new business cards for Wall Hole Coverings, but all I had at that time showed information about me as a pastor. But even though they are my church cards, they do have under my phone number the web address for this blog.
When the lady read “The Recovering Legalist,” as often is the case, she asked, “Are you a lawyer?” To which I replied, “No, I’m a pastor, but that’s my personal blog.”
Then, with a sort of a belittling tone, she said, “Oh, so it’s religious, then.” To which I replied, “No, not entirely.”
More than Religious
You see, the context of this blog and much of my writing is, most certainly, weighted toward the spiritual. Yet, when I talk about “legalism,” I’m also referring to a dangerous kind of behavior that affects nearly every walk of life.
From a religious perspective, legalism, simply put, is the practice of gauging one’s spirituality by man-made standards, particularly the checking off of a list of do’s-and-don’ts.
On the other hand, there are plenty of other ways people can become legalistic in their treatment of others and the jobs they perform. And, quite frankly, many people run the risk of great harm because of legalism in the workplace.
How is that possible?
I’ll give you some examples tomorrow.
Until then, can you think of some examples of potentially harmful legalism on the job?