““But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”
Matthew 5:20 NLT. (http://bible.com/116/mat.5.20.nlt)
In the times of Jesus, the standard for the normal Jew was the Pharasee. The leaders knew they were the example. I believe the reason they were so legalistic was because of the intense pressure to set an example. It's not evil to try to be legal. We have chastised the Pharasees over the years because of their legalism. Yes, they lost sight of the goal because of their obsession with rules. It's not the obeying of Gods laws that's the problem. It's losing sight that none of us is perfect and all have sinned.
As Christians we walk a tightrope between the law and relationships. I just always need to remember the laws are about living life the way God has planned, they were never intended to be a laundry list for membership into the kingdom of God. So when we are GOING OUT, to preach the gospel it's not about the rules, it's about the relationships. God wants a relationship with us. He loves us, cares about us, and wants the best for us now, not just in the future. In order to get that best, we have rules or laws. We can never lose sight of love above rules.
Dea Lord, thank you for loving me without reservation. I have seen your love laid out before me in clear and special ways. I'm humbled. Help me to share that love with other, to avoid judging them for their sins. I praise you for my amazing life filled with joy! Help me to share that joy with all I see today! Amen!