Last week, Brian shared the Mandatory Move from Legalism to Relationships. We learned several things, but a couple of ideas that really stood out to me are: 1) if we are legalistic, we can't see it, and 2) doing good things does not equate to godliness. These two concepts really have been bouncing around in my head this week and I've been trying to flesh them out to a better understanding. I've also figured that I'm probably not the only one working to understand. So let's try and take these things a little deeper. Jesus' brother, James, has really helped me work on this mandatory move. He wrote in James 1:26-27 this, "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
If we can't see that we have legalistic tendencies, how do we know what to correct? It's like being in a dark room with a box of the 64 Crayola Crayons (school is starting...). How would you know which is which? If given the task, how would you find the cadet blue crayon? You can't see it, they all smell and feel the same. I assume they all taste the same. If we can't see or identify a problem, how do we find a solution?
If doing good things does not equate godliness, do good deeds have anything to do with godliness? Absolutely! But what is the relationship between our works and godliness? Like many of you, I've always thought being godly meant trying to do as God would do. In our human limitations, that would seem simple, we do good things because God is good. But, as Brian taught us, godliness is more than that. We will look into how the two are interwoven and even a bit interdependent - but not synonymous.