LEGALISM: My Recovery From This Addiction

Jonathan Pearson

Millennial | Leader | Pastor | Communicator | Campus Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Orangeburg S.C., Assistant Director of The Sticks Network, creator of, and author of Next Up: 8 Shifts Great Young Leaders Make (

23 Responses

  1. Coenraad says:

    I am with you 100% on this. For way too long I used to think that I am not too bad, since I don’t do all these ‘wrong’ things. Little did I know that the things that I did do made the things that I judged other people on, pale in comparison.

  2. Eileen says:

    I used to pride myself on this too. I was good at following rules. That hidden sin of pride and that thinking that you are superior to someone else because their sin is visible and yours are hidden…I almost thing that’s worse. So thankful for God’s grace in my life and how God has taught me through my own failures that none of us measure up.

  3. Ivey says:

    I find myself leaning toward legalistic tendencies. But I have two real pet peeves. 1) people who claim that what they believe isn’t legalism when it is. 2) people who are clearly going against the Bible but call me a legalistic for pointing it out. I think some people get confused and label any condemnation as legalism. I think it’s essential we stay somewhere in the middle. We can’t bed licentious or legalistic.

  4. Jason Vana says:

    I used to have a pretty big Do and Don’t Do list that made me feel right with God. Thankfully, He has chipped that away and is helping me to truly understand what it means to be the righteousness of God.

  5. Bob says:

    Yeah, legalism and pride go hand in hand.
    I battle this as well from time to time.

    In uncertainty – whether in our own walks and/or the trials of life – is when it seems to rear it’s ugly head. Trust and obey…hmmmm.

    Thanks, Jonathan!

  6. Kathleen says:

    The nature of an addiction is that it is bondage. So you were not in danger of losing your freedom, you did lose it. Now t may have just diminished other areas of your life, but call it for what it really is, bondage.

  7. KevinJ says:

    Yes sir, I am a recovering addict… I continually am amazed at how some of this poison still manifests itself in my thinking, words, or actions. I am just so very glad to be on my way out of it all. People like you who will be honest, open, and blog about it have been very instrumental in helping me recover. Thanks bro!…

  8. So very true! I have to fight feeling like this all the time. It’s easier now, but I still have to remember I need to look out for MY behavior, actions, and thinking rather than worrying about others’ behavior or actions.

  9. I too am a recovering legalist. Mine wasn’t from the church I grew up in. It was self-imposed. I used the rules and regulations and imposed them on myself and others. for myself, to “if I do this I will impress God more.” For others: to cover up my own shallow faith. Mine wasn’t the clothing or hair issues. It was the “going to church so many times” and “giving your tithe or you give less than the OT people” issues. I am glad I am free. Thanks for a good post Jonathan. (Came by way of Scott’s post and have also seen you on Artie’s).

  10. Jonathan, excellent post, thanks for sharing. I too am a recovering legalist. And the sad thing is that it took me a while to understand it…

  11. Nannie Morin says:

    Yeah, legalism and pride go hand in hand. Thanks Jason! I think it’s essential we stay somewhere in the middle.

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