Legalism–we’ve all been guilty of it, applying it to ourselves as we’ll as others, then not living up to the expectations we set. But, a Paul tells us in Romans 7, we can never live up to the law’s standards.
On the other hand, we can also be guilty of confusing freedom through grace as license. Should we strive for a balance between the law and grace? The answer is a resounding “NO”!
In Romans 13, Paul writes “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (13:8-10 NIV)
Don’t try to set standards for yourself–or for others–based on a set of rules. Set the standards based on love, instead. The result will be fulfillment of the Law of Love, under which there is true freedom IN the Law, not UNDER it
God love you and keep you. Amen