Ken Boa provides this definition of legalism in Conformed to His Image:
Legalism seeks to quantify spirituality into a measurable product. In this way, it produces the complacency of procedures and practices rather than the ever-challenging dynamic of pursuing the person of Christ (p. 227).
As I read this line, it struck my heart! I thought of how often I have measured my spirituality by how consistent I’ve been in keeping to my Bible reading plan, how often I am praying throughout the day, and how regularly I’ve attended church. Or how I’ve avoided various sins.
To pursue Christ is a challenging journey. To be in his loving - but holy - presence is wonderful - and mortifying. It humbles our hearts even as we experience joy.
By contrast, it is convenient and easy to settle for ‘reading the Bible’ or ‘not murdering anyone’ as a measurement of my spirituality.
How have you seen legalism stifle your love for God?