Since deciding to embrace the theology of grace rather than that of legalism, I have been (at least I think) slowly growing as a Christian.
The key word is slowly. But under grace; that’s OK. Although I was never what my church would consider a “Good Fundamentalist”, my thinking had still been poisoned by legalism. Although I could go to movies, for example, with a perfectly clear conscience, I would mentally get the cat o’ nine tails out when I would miss reading my Bible for a day. I would feel like, “Well, I failed, and I’ll do the same again, so why bother with anything?”
Even when I wouldn’t give up, I would get back on the horse, but at the same time I would use it as an opportunity to examine my life to try to find every little failing and “clean house” and try to fix everything at once. And there is the problem. A mind poisoned by the legalistic mindset can not allow things to stay in an imperfect condition. So, seeking perfection, it will always fail, and if it doesn’t, it is just kidding itself, and misses the point of how we are to live in the grace of God.
Instead, when I miss the opportunity to read my Bible in the morning and pray, I feel like I really missed something good. This morning, I made time. I read from Galations, and I prayed to God, and really tried to feel what I was praying. The shade was up on the window in front of me, and it was just an inspiring feeling to be praying and feel the sun begin to lighten things behind my closed eyes as I thanked God for all of the good things he has given me. It is better to feel as though you missed out on that than to feel guilty that you failed yet again.