Hello, ladies :) The other part of Mickey Connolly's message was also so very good, so I thought I'd share some goodies from it with you all :)
Connolly practically defined legalism, self-righteousness & self-sufficiency in such a way that blessed my husband and I very much, and I am sure will bless you and yours too. He talked about how to live in a way that is cross-centered.
I know I won't do his words justice, and I wish I could just link his message here, but I will do the best I can to pass along some of the ways he served us to you. It is so useful to have a practical definition, don't you think?
Legalism: says " I must do something in order for God to do for me."
Self-Righteousness: says " I did my part, now God owes me something."
Self-Sufficiency: says " I can do it in my own strength."
Just seeing my heart in the light of these scriptures,I know without a doubt that I am the great sinner, and God is the great savior!
Since I am instructed to not run like a (wo)man running aimlessly, not fight like a (wo)man beating the air,but no, to beat my body and make it my slave ~ 1 Corinthians 9:26-27~ I know that keeping these definitions fresh in my mind can help me 'beat my body and make it my slave.' I loved Connolly's definition of sin: " Sin is man
(woman) wanting to go their own way, and have God bless them in what they are doing." How many times have I found my heart in each of these definitions? Each time, I am forgetting the gospel, (I am not being a great rememberer of the gospel as Connolly said)and I am not being cross-centered.
He also said, Legalism can be summed up by saying it is looking to A source rather than THE source." If we take part in this, we forget God's grace. A scripture that really helped me understand this is Galatians 5:4, you who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. I don't ever want to fall away from grace! Since I can do nothing myself, but can do all things through Christ, grace is as the air tank is to the scuba diver for me~ I need it! It is an undeserved gift of mercy from God to me. From my notes: " Romans 8:1, therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death!! "Listen to Him~ we are still accepted by Him even when we fail to perform. God Alone Provides Our Justification Not Our Works. Cross centered living helps remind us that God alone provides."
"Self righteousness forgets that all we have, we have from God: what do we have that God has not provided? Or, it nails other's to the cross for their sins while winking at our sins( thanks Jill, for that definition.)We say, what is wrong with that person? I would never do that! Yet, what is the matter with them is the same thing that is the matter with us- they are sinners like us. And, we do not know what we would do in their situation nor do we know the hearts of man( woman) as God does."
"Self-sufficiency forgets that we can do nothing without God."
I liked Connolly's example about the poem Footprints: he said, it's not Footprints but Face prints! "If God were not carrying us, holding us up, all of our days, what we would see in the sand would be face prints not footprints!, he said. "Knowing that God saves us sinners by Jesus' death on the cross, and He accepts that substitution - this is knowing The Great Exchange."
Well, I know that we all struggle in these things, not being perfected just yet. I hope Connolly's words help you in your walk as much as I know they will help me.
Putting to death legalism, self-righteousness and self-sufficiency will be a lifetime effort for all of us. So, having these tools will be a great help along the path. When I look at my circumstances and say " why, God?" I can remind myself that I deserve Hell, nothing more, and all I have comes from Him ( cross- centered thoughts.) When I am beating myself up over missing devotions/ quiet time for awhile I can remind myself that I am still accepted, even when I fail to perform and to look at THE source not A source for my justification ( cross-centered thoughts.) And when I am not reading my bible or praying regularly (seeking God) I can remind myself that I can do nothing in my own strength.