When Christ saved me from legalism and led me a saving knowledge of him, tendrils of legalism remained wrapped on me. Every sin I caught myself in was further ammunition I used against any assurance of salvation I had. As I stood worshipping alongside my friends at my Christian university, I put on a smile, but inwardly wondered if I was righteous enough to sing any kind of praise to God. I wondered if any of the promises we heard, any of the words we sang, even applied to me. At times, I tried to make deals with God. If I do better, will I feel your love then? If I try harder, will I feel secure? Will you take note of me if I somehow force away these sins? I felt choked by doubt because I couldn’t will away these sins.
I am not writing this article as a professional, experienced counselor striving to teach other counselors—I am nothing of the sorts. I am writing this as a believer who has battled her way through the thorns of doubt, and who has discerned both the good and poor counsel given from others. I also come with humility, recognizing the times I have given the same gut-wrenching, doubt-inducing counsel that was once given to me.
If there is anything to be taken away from this, I hope it is this: Let’s counsel those who doubt with the gospel—not their works.
Read the rest of this article in the latest edition of Truth For Life.