Do you ever feel judged for how you look, wear your makeup, dress, or for your goals to be fit as a Christian woman? It hurts, right?! If legalism is new to you, I’m blessed to have the opportunity to show you the difference between a relationship with Jesus and a list of man-made religious rules.
Hear my heart. I have lived under much scrutiny trying to bring a message of faith and fitness into the world, so if you have been hurt by this too I want you to know the truth and freedom of Jesus.
Although we have never met, I’m certain I’m not alone in the intense desire to know what God says about these things, so I’m going there today. We are talking about Legalism in this Jesus Glow series because nothing will steal your light like a bunch of man-made rules and judgments.
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This is used to control you and steal your freedom in Christ.
It makes you feel guilty and ashamed instead of forgiven and purified by Jesus’ sacrificial death. Jesus’ death on the Cross bought you the ability to stand before God, forgiven.
Legalists hate this because they don’t want you free in Jesus, they want you to abide by their rules.
If you always feel bad about yourself, guilty about your sins, or feel like you have to work to pay for your sins, this is legalism.
Legalism distorts the truth of the gospel.
In Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas traveled to Galatia preaching the gospel of salvation by faith.
God blessed their work and many new believers were won to Jesus. But as my pastor says what God creates, satan counterfeits. So satan quickly filled the churches with legalists teaching salvation plus works.
The Galatians were “turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel.” The promoters of legalism wanted to “distort the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7).
Only one gospel is effective for salvation—the gospel of grace. Adding any other requirement to salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) devalues Jesus and diminishes His work on the cross. “If keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die” (Gal. 2:21, NLT).
There is no Jesus Plus. There is only Jesus is enough.
Legalism starts with you can’t and ends with someone else's opinion – Not God’s!
This is a hot topic and I know I’m going to get some emails and comments about it, but here I go, legalists have made women feel like they have to look, dress, and act a certain way.
These scriptures are the basis of which many form their man-made rules…
“Likewise, also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness — with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
These scriptures tell me my worth is in Jesus not braided hair or costly clothes or jewelry. And this is a pride and self-control issue.
Bible Study Tools, shares, Modesty, according to the Bible, is less of self and more of Christ. A woman’s worth is not in her outer beauty, or in the fine things she puts on, it is found in the condition of her spirit.
Your Questions, Biblical Answers, shares, At the core of dressing modestly is reverence for God. Rather than seek to garner attention through appearance, godly women are to seek to glorify God.
I believe this is where people do the most battle. It’s like the story I share about the woman coloring her hair who told me If I am a Christian I shouldn’t wear lashes.
God is concerned about your heart and motives; we are all individuals. This life journey to honoring Him in all we do is a slow transformation throughout our lives. For example, I wouldn’t wear what I wore as a teenager.
God knows your heart so ask Him if there’s anything that offends Him in your closet, or that you do, and He will show you. If you have peace everyone else needs to hold theirs.
I believe God doesn’t care if you color your hair, get Botox, wear lashes, wear makeup, want to be fit, and wait for it, even get plastic surgery.
All of these choices are personal and if you have peace in Jesus, no one else gets a say.
Here’s an example of legalism – One group of Legalists says you can wear a skirt, but it has to be down to your ankles, then the other group says no it has to be 2 inches below the knee.
I’m over saying where does God say any of this in the Bible!
Who did Jesus sit with and help? The tax collectors, a prostitute, the lepers, the sinners. Jesus is our example, Let’s be more like Him.
Let’s challenge ourselves to not be legalistic, sisters.
We are all guilty of gossiping, saying things like how could she wear that to church, or judging people for how they look, but this is all self-righteous legalistic behavior. Let’s not be a part of the problem! Amen.
A legalistic attitude is defined as, relating to, or exhibiting strict adherence to the law, especially to the letter of the law rather than its spirit. Boom and there it is the law, not the Spirit. We are no longer under the law, but GRACE!
Our glow comes from walking in the freedom of Jesus, and when we say yes to Him He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell inside us, this is our light! And that is why the devil is after it. Legalism snuffs out your light like capping a candle! Use that mental image to see what legalism does to the light of God shining in you.
Faith Fuel to light your Jesus Glow:
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NKJV
Can you see how people use legalism to control, shame, and judge you? Let’s challenge ourselves to spot it, forgive them, and take our power back by standing on the finished work of the Cross.
If this blessed you, share it.
Remember, you are Strong. Confident. His.
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