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Dating 101: Rejection Part II



Legalism:

  1. Excessive adherence to law or formula.

  2. Dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith.*


Whether we spot it immediately or it takes us a bit, our personal baggage sneaks up on us. Dating especially seems to bring it out and sets it on display. Over the past year, I have been going through this. Without realizing it until just now - month 10 of this behavior. The worst part is, it has taken me pushing away someone, an amazing someone, to be awakened to this reality.


Revisiting the same guy from the "Rejected" post. Turns out I really care about him. It took me long enough to admit that. Somehow my subconscious knew before my conscious mind did, and up went the walls. Walls built on legalism - rules and reasons according to religion to keep this guy at arm's length. Sometimes, they were just down right excuses.


It doesn't mean that I should ignore his relationship with God. That part is still very real. But to a man who has experienced the pressure to be religious over relational with God, I just showed him another legalistic encounter. That, I deeply regret.


"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." - Philippians 3:12 (NIV)


I wish I could say I have it all figured out. My pride grasps at saving face, especially on this blog. But as I have committed from the start, these are true accounts, no fluff, no hindsight...we are all experiencing and learning from this together. Because of that, we all get to feel the rush and excitement as God reveals His plans, blessings, and twists. His ways are so much higher than my own (Isaiah 55:9).


Humilitiy. It all comes down to this beautiful word. It stings - that's for sure - but how much more do we gravitate to the people in our lives who are humble and gentle? It is a season of being humbled, of admitting that I am wrong, taking action to make it right. Not just in relation to this guy but to family, friends, coworkers, and clients. Recently having taken the Enneagram test, I have discovered that I am "the Idealist" persona - a 1, wing 9, healthy 7 (I'm not sure if I am even saying that right?).

All of those numbers add up to reflect that I get caught up in my head about right and wrong, black and white, yet God's grace created so many calming shades of grey. I do believe in the Bible and that it was created to guide us in living our best lives with God. I do not buy into the angst (<--- read this definition of the word!) that it was meant to burden us with such an unbearable expectation.


“Come to me,all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

- Matthew 11:28-30


It's funny, because somewhere in my mind, heart, all the feels, and impulsiveness, I can easily "forget" a few of the laws, yet go running and diving right behind them as soon as it is convenient or I am scared.


I’ve put up walls of religion and rules to hide behind. Out of fear. That’s unhealthy even for my relationship with God. I’m using Him as a scape goat. Yet, that eventually leads to resentment of Him, when He didn’t ask me to take these extreme measures in the first place.


So for now, I am going to stop trying to "fix it." As I've said before, it isn't mine to fix. I am leaning into God relationally and leaving religion behind. This is me trying.


We're down but we're not out.





*“Dictionary: Legalism.” Legalism, Oxford Languages, 2020, www.google.com.

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