Security In The Details

Legalism can be temporarily rewarding if you are wired for it. There is a sense of security in the details. This tribe naturally find themselves in situations where they are told exactly what to do. This feels safe for them. It can happen in the workplace or in the church. Codes of conduct that seem intrusive, arbitrary, and oppressive to most are paradise for others. The comfort level is highest where the nuisance of cultivating discernment has been removed. Everything becomes a binary code of right and wrong. As a Pharisee, Paul was a member of the “separated ones”, known for exact observance of the Jewish doctrine, regulations, and customs. To be fair, as a general rule they came up with accurate expositions of the Mosaic Law. Even the 613 traditions the Pharisees observed were mostly a recasting God’s Law. We can’t assume followers of man’s laws are miserably grinding through the routine. Instead temporary joy, misplaced confidence, deeply embedded pride, and a sense of personal accomplishment are more often the result. Calling a person out of legalism may be taken as dropping a bomb on their playground. Paul loved tradition and wasn’t looking to be saved.

One thought on “Security In The Details

  1. I was saved out of Roman Catholicism four years ago and although I really wasn’t a legalistic, I felt as if a bomb was dropped in my playground. I really didn’t feel that pride, that sense of accomplishment in meeting the “catholic checklist” but I saw it all around me. Pride from close relatives that were complying and therefore in the will of God. Mean while, their sinful lives contradicted their adherence to their “law”. I, on the other hand, felt shame and inadequacy because I didn’t have it in me to be so pious so I embraced my sin since I wasn’t “earning” that grace others were. The bomb that was dropped on me was Galatians. That amazing grace exploded in my heart. Everything I thought about God was wrong except one thing. He is Holy, and even our best attempts at good deeds and sacrifice are filthy rags to Him.

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