Spiritual Love Vs. Religious Legalism

Spiritual Love Vs. Religious Legalism

Divine spiritual love is unconditional and everlasting. God is the source of true love, enabling us to overcome our fears of hurt and rejection. Trusting in God’s perfect love to flow through us as a blessing to those we encounter.

God’s perfect love awakens our hearts to give love without expecting anything in return, not even expecting to be loved back. It is a gift of the spirit of God that transforms our hearts to give love freely. Spiritual love overlooks faults and offenses and is not based on what a person does or doesn’t do but is freely given without strings.

Our love and kindness transform a rock hard heart into a heart that can give and receive love. God’s love creates a desire to please God, not people, and is evident by our kindness, joy, and peace. His love is contagious and inspires hope, faith, and trust unconditionally.

Religious Legalism

A religious spirit legalistically judges and condemns others with God’s law but is unable to see their own faults. It is a spirit of darkness that hides behind pride and self-righteousness. We are all capable of using our beliefs of what is right and wrong to judge others; without humility, we cannot acknowledge what is wrong with us.

Accusing others of their sins without love, grace, and mercy is condemnation without any hope of restoration. Its effects are demoralizing and cause the accused to feel that God has rejected them. Judgment and condemnation separate people from God, making them feel unworthy and unaccepted by God.

Innately we all desire to be loved and accepted. Some people use religion to find acceptance and approval from people. Yet, they have no concept of spiritual transformation, so they imitate spirituality. Some people pretend to love God, but their hearts are far from Him. They lack the depth of a personal and intimate relationship with their creator.


God loves every person equally, regardless of his or her race or faith. He is a loving God who has given us laws and commandments for our protection. Our obedience to God’s laws and commandments should come from a heartfelt desire to please God. Our disobedience comes out of distrust or lack of faith in God, or simply desiring to please ourselves rather than pleasing God.

If we truly seek God with all our heart, soul, and mind, He will begin to gently nudge us about the areas of our life that are in disobedience. Like a loving parent, He is guiding and directing us out of His love for us. He may dislike what we do, but He always loves us.

Our disobedience to God is like a small child running into a street after a ball. A protective parent would warn the child not to go into the street. The child can see the ball he wants to play with, and the parent is stopping him from having fun. The parent understands what the child can’t see and the potential for danger if a car suddenly comes down the street. So the parent sets up rules about looking both ways for cars coming before going into the road as a precaution for the child’s protection.

When we are more focused on doing what we think is right, disregarding God’s warnings, we are potentially putting ourselves in spiritual and physical danger. God’s spirit that dwells within us will try to warn us and correct us. There are spiritual and natural consequences for disregarding God’s conviction.


When a person feels beat-up, unaccepted, judged, and unworthy, they have experienced condemnation, not a conviction. Because there is no love for the person, they feel their disobedience has sentenced them to hell and damnation, with no way to be restored into a right relationship with God.

Why should a person want to obey God if there is no hope of being accepted by God? Condemnation can make a person feel stuck with no way out and prevent them from seeking God because they believe they are unworthy of His love.

As in Job’s story in the bible, even those in a right relationship with God can be judged and condemned by their friends. Applying God’s laws in a way God did not intend, or without prayerfully seeking God’s perspective into a situation, can cause people who mean well to judge others wrongly.

Only God can know a man’s heart and ways. Therefore, only God can rightly judge a man’s actions and motives. We should only speak correction to a person’s habits if God has told us to do so.

If we believe someone is living in disobedience to God, we need to privately take it before God and ask Him what we are to do. It is important to always humble ourselves first by asking God to show us if we are wrong, then ask Him to convict the other person as He sees fit.

Get Out of God’s Way

Conviction is God’s job, not ours!

Although, God may choose to use you as an instrument to communicate to the person when the person has ignored God’s inner conviction and thus has exhausted His grace and mercy of a private warning.

If we love one another as God loves us, then our love is never based on what we do or don’t do. It is our love and kindness that will make others desire to know God personally.

Thank you for reading!

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