While trolling the Internet I stumbled upon an article titled 8 Signs of a Legalistic Spirit – and How to Break Free. I have no idea how I found that list while merely looking for a recipe! Needless to say, supper was late.
J. Lee Grady offered a list of characteristics that, for the most part, described who I used to be. It took many years for me to admit that these 8 neon indicators lit up the “Legalist Here” sign lurking above my head.
- Lack of true joy
- No real victory over sin
- Unhealthy performance orientation
- A critical, unloving attitude toward others
- Obsessive focus on outward standards of dress or behavior
- Bondage to religious tradition
- A sectarian attitude toward other Christians
- Little or no assurance of salvation
Rather than condemning myself all over again for my narrow-mindedness, I smiled realizing the work the HOLY Spirit had done to help me walk in freedom. As I went back and read each one, I began turning each of them into a positive statement. Suddenly, I remembered those whom the Holy Spirit led into my life; artists painting for me a picture of complete freedom. Once again, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love for the One who loved me enough to convict, teach, and lead me to the inexpressible and glorious joy found in freedom in Christ.
Here’s the newly modified list! Compare it to the one above.
8 Signs of Freedom Finders:
- Uncommon, contagious joy – even in trying times
- Confident victory over past, present, and future sins
- Gives God all the credit for their accomplishments
- A gracious, loving attitude for others
- Outward standards of dress and behavior reflect love and respect for God and others
- Free to enjoy tradition, but not bound by it
- Realize none of us are perfect, and all Jesus-followers can learn from one another
- Absolutely assured of their salvation and look forward to heaven with great joy and anticipation
If some of the first 8 signs stung a little, thank the Holy Spirit. He wants what’s best for you. Place your toes on Freedom’s starting line, grab hold of the Spirit with one hand and the Word in the other; then get ready for a wild ride! If you identify more with the second list, don’t forget to thank God for Jesus – our decisive Freedom Fighter!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.”
Psalm 107:1 (CSB)