Me, a Rebel?
The older I get, the more I realize I have a bit of rebel in me. That's been a rather shocking realization for a girl who was known as being ultra-compliant in her growing up years. A little less shocking upon further analysis, though, as I've realized that I'm still very compliant when it comes to submitting to authority; my rebellion tends to come out in relation to "society" or the culture in general.
Submission vs. Compliance
Submission to authority is a good thing. We're told over and over in Scripture to submit to our earthly authorities. As I remind my children often, submitting to our God-given earthly authorities is an important part of learning to submit to God.
On the other hand, compliance isn't always all it's cracked up to be. In my case, a compliant personality went hand-in-hand with deep-seated people-pleaser tendencies. The combination created fertile ground for legalism to flourish.
The Faces of Legalism
Let me clarify "legalism" as I'm using it here. Legalism can be (1) depending on the law to obtain salvation, (2) depending on the law to keep salvation, or (3) creating/upholding a code of conduct for oneself or other Christians in areas that aren't specifically addressed in Scripture as sin, in order to somehow "prove" one's salvation.
I grew up knowing better than to fall into the first two. I knew that salvation was by grace through faith alone, and as a good Southern Baptist girl, "once saved, always saved" was a familiar phrase from early childhood.
That last one, though...that one has taken a bit longer to learn. Between my personality and various influences in my youth and young adult years, I ended up with a pretty good list of "What a Real Christian Looks Like" imprinted deeply in my mind and heart. It wasn't that those who didn't adhere to those standards weren't Christians, they just weren't "serious" Christians.
But God is Gracious!
God has spent much of the past 8 years graciously, patiently, and lovingly growing and teaching me in this area. It's been quite a journey which could fill a book of its own. That "list" didn't go easily! There are still times when I want to pull it out and start checking things off...in my own life or the lives of others. I'm still definitely not "there"...spiritual growth and maturity is a lifelong process that doesn't end as long as we are on this earth. I'm so thankful for the promise of Philippians 1:6:
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Amplified)
A Passion and a Burden
In the process of burning away the dross of my legalistic tendencies, God has also been developing in my heart a deep passion for the truth of the Word. Along with that passion has come a deep burden for those affected in so many ways by Satan's twisting of the truth in the church and among those who call themselves Christians.
As those who read here regularly know, when something is heavy on my heart, it tends to come out in writing. For quite some time, posts related to this burden have been percolating in my heart, in my head, and in draft here on the blog.
God has finally begun to pull those fragmented pieces together, with the result being a new series titled "Ponderings of a Berean Heart". Check back here tomorrow for a detailed intro to this series on living in Biblical truth. I'm excited about sharing this journey with you!
In the meantime...
As I posted on Wednesday, I'm so excited to be part of the new writing team at Homeschool Toolbox! My first column went live on the site today...you can read it here. I'd love to hear any feedback you have! You can comment there on the column itself, or come back here and comment. Or if Facebook comments are more your thing, you can comment on the Ponderings of an Elect Exile Page or the Homeschool Toolbox Page on Facebook. (Be sure to like both pages if you haven't already!)
And for those who are joining us from Homeschool Toolbox...Welcome!! I hope you'll get comfy, grab a drink, and stay for a while! Please take a minute to follow Ponderings of an Elect Exile on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. Or subscribe by email via the box in the sidebar. I'd also love to hear from you in the comments or using the email option on my profile page.
Please feel free to share this post on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter using the easy "share" buttons below. Or share on Pinterest using the "Pin It" button above. Thanks!