Tag Archives: legalistic christianity

No More Micromanagement

I’ve had some very different bosses throughout my working life. Some of my bosses could be referred to as micromanagers. They would give me an assignment, then breathe down my neck the whole time. They wanted it done their way or I would get in trouble. It was stressful and not very fun to work for them. Contrast them with some other bosses I’ve had that were overseers. They would hand me an assignment then back up and let me work. If I needed anything, they were always available to answer questions or give me feedback. I always felt like I thrived in that environment. I knew what was expected of me and I was able to do the work in a way that made going to work fun.

When Jesus walked on the earth, the religious leaders had made following God a lot like those micromanagers. They had a set of rules you couldn’t deviate from or they would call you out and embarrass you. They had their interpretation of living for God and forced everyone else to try to live that way too. It was burdensome and difficult. Contrast that with Jesus who took all their regulations and said they could be summed up by loving God and loving people. If they did those two things well, the rest came pretty easily. He removed the burdensome yoke of the law from our necks. In Matthew 11:28-30 He said, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear” (TPT).

God is not a micromanager giving you a heavy load of regulations that’s impossible to bear. Christianity is not a bunch of “Thou shalt not’s”. Instead it is a spiritual oasis where we join our life to His and learn to love Him and others. He forgives your past and has given you permission to heal from it. You don’t have to live under the constant condemnation of you you were. In Him, you are a new creation. The old life is gone and He has created a new life in you. I love that He said in these verses that He’s easy to please. You don’t have to live under the stress of constantly fighting for His approval. He loves you, approves of you and has lifted your old burden that was weighing you down. It’s time to live in that approval and enjoy the relationship with Him that He offers.

Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

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Don’t Miss It

A couple of years ago I watched a video where they asked you to count how many times a group of people passed a basketball. After counting the number of passes, I felt pretty good about getting it right. That’s when another question showed up on the screen that asked if I noticed the bear moonwalking through the group of basketball players. I didn’t believe it when they showed me, so I started the video over looking for the bear. Sure enough, I was so busy trying to count that I missed the person dressed as a bear dance through the screen as they passed the ball around him.

In Matthew 12, Jesus and His disciples were passing through a grain field on the Sabbath. Since they were hungry, they picked a few heads of grain and ate them. Some Pharisees saw them and got onto them quoting the law of Moses that says you can’t harvest on the Sabbath. Jesus’ response seems odd at first, but what He said to them, applies to us. In verse 7, He said, “And if you had only known what this statement means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION [for those in distress], AND NOT [animal] SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent” (AMP).

Jesus was saying, “Don’t get so caught up in the law that you lose compassion. Quit using the law to condemn, and start finding ways to help people.” Yes, God gave us the Law, but it wasn’t intended for us to use it as a means to condemn or to keep us from living. We can’t live our lives bound by legalism. The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross paid for our sins, not our ability to follow the Law. We can’t miss what Jesus was trying to say here. God desires that you and I show love and compassion more than living a legalistic life.

If you were raised to live a legalistic life, listen to the words Jesus spoke to the legalism elites of His day. There’s more to the Christian life than following a set of rules. God’s grace is greater than your worst sin. Your salvation is not dependent on your ability to follow a set of laws or to hold others to those laws. Jesus wants us to trust God’s grace, love people, and help those in need. Don’t miss the dancing bear in the screen because you’re too busy following the rules too closely. 

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