.Currently, I’m studying Beth Moore’s Children of the Day. I’m finding it a bit hard going; the way she writes doesn’t flow naturally to me. However, she’s a fine Christian woman and I enjoy learning from her, so what I read today struck me so much I wanted to share it with you.
Remember “the rules” of being a young, single woman? Protect yourself (yeah, sorry, but it was one of them); don’t call him first; don’t respond before twenty-four hours have passed; meet him somewhere on your first date instead of letting him pick you up – etc. There were many and I don’t remember them much because I didn’t follow them.
I don’t like rules. I’d rather blaze my own path. Ask for forgiveness later. This isn’t true in all aspects, though – because if I care about the person making the rules, or the rules that apply to being in relationship to that person, I don’t want to break them. Or worse, I want them to always defend and forgive when I do. Because hey – I’m just me! I’m awesome! So I make huge mistakes. I’m worth the risk.
Arrogance. Pride. Two things I absolutely detest in others and am sometimes blind to seeing in myself. But these awful attributes are there and they refuse to go quietly. So when I’m exhausted, stressed to the max, anxious, sick – I tend to rely on rules to feel better!
- You have to be gentle and kind to me because I’m a woman. Who cares how shrewish I’ve been? I’m a girl! A mother…a wife…a Christian….
- I’m sick (tired, stressed, whatever) so you must cater to me
- I’m more experienced/wise in this area so I must be right
What a waste of time! Beth Moore puts it this way: “When spiritual people are down to the dregs, we often grip tighter to what we have left: our legalism. We fill up the loss with the law. Don’t go there. Keep believing, hoping, and loving. All else is just existing.”
Girl, it sure is. What ways to do you resort to legalism (whether spiritual or cultural) when you’re low on love, health, sleep, fun? How can we stop ourselves?
Prevention isn’t the only cure here, but of course it helps. If you don’t know what triggers your legalistic responses, figure it out ASAP and when you feel it, do what you have to do to get through your day and then go home. Unplug the phone. Turn off the tv. Put down the electronic device almost permanently attached to your ear. And rest. Rest in His love.
When you’ve got it together, think this through. That’s what I’m doing right now and will be in this season I’m currently in – of figuring out what sets off my legalistic, angry, irritated tendencies. And then working through it with God to stop. Because she is so right – everything else is just existing!