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Fourteen Signs That You Might Be Legalistic

You Might Be Legalistic

The thing about legalism is that it’s far easier and far more satisfying to spot in someone else’s life than in your own. We are masterful at identifying it and calling it out in other people, but not nearly so good at doing so in our own lives. In Pat Nemmers’ book Retractions he offers a list of 14 signs that you might be legalistic. It’s far from the definitive word on the subject, but is perhaps a useful guide to considering whether you—yes you!—are legalistic.

  1. You read your Bible to get a check mark rather than to meet with God.
  2. Your spiritual disciplines define your spirituality.
  3. You refuse to forgive although you’ve been forgiven.
  4. You judge others before you listen to them.
  5. You justify yourself by comparing yourself to others.
  6. You feel the need to point out someone else’s sin publicly.
  7. Your schedule is so tight it doesn’t have room for “If the Lord wills” in it.
  8. You separate your spiritual life from your natural life.
  9. You spend time only with “saved” people.
  10. You love the praise of men more than the smile of God.
  11. You’re more interested in conformity than conversion.
  12. You make little things big and big things little.
  13. You praise only other’s outward deeds.
  14. You reject the truth tellers who come into your life.

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