Today, many of us struggle under a weight of legalism when it comes to our faith. We worry that if we don’t follow certain sets of rules then we are not doing enough to please God. But this is not the way of Jesus.
Jesus didn’t come to bring us religion and laws; He came to bring us life in abundance. We see this throughout the gospels, how Jesus spoke out against religious legalism and the way it prevented people from following Him. He said in the gospel of Matthew, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
It was not the law that Jesus was talking about, but rather a relationship with God. He wanted us to know Him more intimately. He wanted us to focus more on being like Him than on following a set of rules that we could never actually fulfill.
This does not mean that we should throw out the law, but rather to put the law into perspective. We should put it in its proper context and use it to strengthen our relationship with God. We should take time to study the meaning behind the law, and think about how Jesus would have dealt with each situation.
The way of Jesus is not legalism, but rather an ever deepening relationship with God. This means taking our focus off ourselves and onto Him. It means striving to be like Him and allowing Him to shape our lives and our decisions. It means loving our neighbor, forgiving those who hurt us, and walking in humility and obedience to His Word.
Let us throw off legalism and instead follow the way of Jesus. Let us surrender our hearts to Him fully and completely, no longer held back by fear or worry. Let us live our lives according to His commands, in a way that is pleasing to Him. Let us look to Him as our example as we strive to live abundantly, filled with life and joy—all because of Jesus Christ