Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the get out of jail free card

( this is a topic I will be eventually duscussing in a lot more detail. For now this is just an introduction. I'll hopefully be back later this week with some exciting news and to answer some questions I've received). 

Do you know what I'm referring to in the title of this post? No? Well, its a good thing I'm going to tell you then. : )

Here's the deal: today, we're going to talk about a subject that is super important to me. And I cannot seem to compile my thoughts in a way that makes tons of sense, so just bear with me, friends. Thanks. : )

The "get out of jail free card" is one that we as Christians pull out when we're either about to get in trouble, or we need to get out of it. The  get out of jail free card refers to grace. And if you have been saved for any period of time, you've probably pulled it. 

There are so many Christians out there who are ridiculously legalistic. And when I say ridiculously, I mean it. I get irritated by all the legalism displayed in churches today. Legalism is a topic that goes right along with the grace topic. Because the opposite side of legalism is grace. And people tend to go to one of two extremes. 

Either they are extremely, ridiculously legalistic and think that you have to follow a bunch of rules in order to be holy before God, or they go to the opposite extreme, and say, "well, we're under grace, so we can do whatever we want."

Um. I think Paul wrote about that. Read this:
"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it??" 
Romans 6:1-2

Y'all. Seriously. How would you feel if you were Jesus and you died for sin and then the people you died for just used that to do whatever they wanted? 

We turn grace into a way for us to be able to live however we want. We make grace our fire insurance. That way we can still drink and party and do whatever we want and still go to the big round-up in the sky. Is that right?

Is legalism right? No. I don't think that it is right in any way to be legalistic, and I don't think Jesus was legalistic. Legalism is self-centered. A legalistic heart will do something in order to gain merit in God's eyes. And to be honest, we can't do that. We are as filthy rags in His eyes. Its only when He sees Jesus that He views us as holy. So we can have long hair and only wear skirts and never look at alcohol all day long, and it won't do us any good

I may sound like I'm contradicting myself here. "Legalism is wrong. But you can't use grace as your get out of jail free card." So where is the middle line? How do we be salt and light? (I wrote a little bit about that here).

If I knew all the answer to the grace-legalism question, I would be shouting if from a hilltop. Mom said one time, "I just wish God would tell me what He views as legalistic." Tell me about it! But since we don't know, and His ways aren't our ways, here's my thought:

I don't want to use grace as my get out jail free card. I don't want to continue in sin, just because I know Jesus is going to get me to heaven. I also don't want to be legalistic and judge others because of that. I realize that I can't make myself look holy in God's eye. It ain't happenin'. I just have to live my life, and love Jesus, and make my decisions based on my personal convictions. 

Personal convictions. Where did that come from? Your personal convictions are like your standards. They may be different from mine. And you know what, as long as you are not living in sin or disobeying something that is clearly laid out in Scripture, that's okay! I don't think it's wrong to kiss before the wedding day or get a tattoo. That's between you and God. It might be wrong for me to do those things, but that's between me and God. Not me and you. 

When Jesus was here on Earth, He wasn't constantly judging the people around Him. He wasn't legalistic. So let's be more like Him. And don't use God's grace as something as insignificant as a get out of jail free card. 




  1. I love this post because this has really been on my heart lately! I feel as though I am learning to live under His grace, and yet still live my life according to His law. Yes, I fall short EVERY single day. And yes, I know that that in no way removes me from God's grace. But, I recognize that the law was written to protect me from my sin. And I certainly do NOT want to invite sin into my life, so I will continue to do my best to always obey His law, and His truth.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!! :)

  2. You are wise beyond your years, my friend! Wow, such stirring and true thoughts. Thank you for sharing this, true wisdom right here. love you!!

  3. just found your blog and i'm so glad i did!
    this is beautiful, and so so so full of wisdom.
    so looking forward to getting to know you more!

  4. Wonderful thoughts. Some Scripture came to mind as I read through this... I have copied them below my comments. If you are at the receiving end of judgment & legalistic thought- we are reassured that it is God who looks on the heart and we are told not to buy in to various forms of 'righteousness' through abstaining from certain foods or actions or whatever else man may dream up... we can walk confidently with God without man's approval or applause...

    And then, there are many who claim GRACE who haven't had their first teaspoon full... once you have tasted God's Amazing Grace... sin breaks your heart naturally... you cannot hide behind whatever excuse your heart may try to contrive...not for long anyhow... an intimate experience with God changes your life and you are awakened (Blind but now I see) You can not return to a life of un-enlightenment... My dad always used to say it was like walking into a dark room... you flip on the light- there's a BEAR! You cannot now flip off the light and pretend there isn't a bear.. I mean you can PRETEND... but there's still a bear, you still know it and you still gotta make choices now...

    We are promised that God chastises His own...whom He Loves, He Corrects...and He will... if we see a brother or sister in what we believe to be sin, we can have a loving conversation with them, try to turn them around in their tracks, our ultimate goal to bring about God's glory in all things... but we must then leave the issue between God & His child... Often, I am reminded that Satan wanted to usurp the place of God... we used to tell our kids that Satan had tried to "steal God's chair" as if it were a game of Musical Chairs and Satan tried to bully his way in or something... but how often are we doing the same thing amongst ourselves? Trying to play the part of God as Pharisees and Sadducees... or granting great swaths of Freedom in the name of Grace that He would not condone..."Go ahead and bite that fruit... you won't REALLY die"

    We must first want to hear, then we must all draw near, for He whispers.

    Keep the Faith, Girly.


    SEEK THE GOOD OF YOUR NEIGHBOR~1 Corinthians 10: 23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.24Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor

    WE HAVE NEED OF ENDURANCE~ Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,27but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.28Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.29How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?30For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


Thank you so much for reading and commenting! You make me smile! Have a fantastic day, friend.