12 Steps to Recovery Over Legalism

Legalism is exhausting

Legalism is doing something for God to get something back from God. Pharisees have honed this into a fine art.
As a recovering pharisee, I offer these 12 steps (see #11) to recover from legalism.

  • Step 1: I admit that I am powerless over legalism—that my lack of peace, love and joy have become intolerable.
  • Step 2: I came to believe that the power of the cross of Jesus could restore my spirit.
  • Step 3: I made a decision to take my focus off of myself and rely on the grace of God.
  • Step 4: I stopped searching for flaws in myself and others.
  • Step 5: I admit to God and to myself the exact nature of my legalism.
  • Step 6: I am entirely ready to have God remove all religious obligations.
  • Step 7: I humbly asked Him to remove my self-focused tendencies and help me focus on the what Jesus accomplished on the cross for me.
  • Step 8: I understand that God forgives me not because I confess and repent of every little sin but because Jesus died for every little sin.
  • Step 9: I will receive God’s love and acceptance even on my worst days.
  • Step 10: I continued to take personal inventory and admit it when I am relying on my own ability, flesh or performance.
  • Step 11: I now understand there is nothing I can do, not even 12 steps, to make God love me even more than He already does.
  • Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of the cross of Christ, I now rest in the grace of God whom I now acknowledge as my loving Heavenly Father.

If you are a pharisee, you might want to consider asking God for a pharisectomy. It is moderately painless.

Roger Fields