This week there have been many e-mails between me and an old school chum, Dan. Most of our conversation has been in respect of getting free from legalism, the affects that legalism has had and the journey into grace and the awesomeness of grace. Dan and I are kindred spirits in many ways having journeyed together through a number of years and I would boldly say that he is like the brother that I never had. He's a real blessing to me and has been known to send me the odd prophetic word that has been totally spot on quite a number of times!!
In my e-mails to Dan I found myself realising just was a stench legalism has about it, but that grace has a sweet aroma – I know which one I would rather choose but yet there are times I run to the stench because that is what I am so used to! At work I have 3 different printers that I can send my printing to - a general one with the option to print on plain paper, headed paper or labels, a colour printer for the odd occasion that it is needed and a large beefy photocopier that will store my printing, double side it, put different sheets on different colours, staple and will print huge documents very quickly and very cheaply. The first one I mentioned is my default printer - if I just hit the print key and I know that it will go to the general printer and be on plain paper. Occasionally I have mass printing jobs to do and if I know that I will spend a few hours on the same print job then I will change my default to the third printer I mentioned. Why do I share the details of something so mundane - simply because I know that over years and years my 'default' has been set to legalism. Something happens and the natural, immediate and without question response has come from a position of legalism.
But oh for grace to become my default – how I yearn for it to be so - but I have been told and can see that unlearning the default of legalism can take time! How I pray that grace reactions would become my default reactions in the ups and downs of life!
The other thing that I have realised is that legalism wrecks lives – I only see damage from legalism. Even handling some situations that my husband and I face and have faced I realise how legalism is brought out and have to say that legalism underlines failure, highlights inability and bolds the imperfect!
So many people brought up in legalism struggle to gain the freedom and life offered under grace because their natural response comes from years of being taught ‘you must be this, you must do this, you must be like this, you must produce this, you must achieve this.’ But Grace explodes and disintegrates the ‘you must’ with ‘Jesus has’ - everything is liberated and the delight comes as we realise Jesus has done it all, won the day and given us all that we need!
Oh to live in the fullness of the default of grace..............