“A society based on the letter of the law and never reaching any higher, fails to take advantage of the full range of human possibilities. The letter of the law is too cold and formal to have beneficial influence on society. Whenever the tissue of life is woven of legalistic relationships, this creates an atmosphere of spiritual mediocrity and paralyzes men’s noblest impulses” (Leadership is an Art).
Good leaders communicate vision and purpose, so that those who follow them have a sense of purpose. God is the ultimate example of good leadership, He freed us from the shackles of legalism and allows us to use our gifts so we can look for ways to improve the church and fulfill its vision (Romans 12).
Legalism stifles innovation and dedication. The Pharisees were more concerned with finding loopholes in the law to get away with not working instead of actually bearing fruit. Legalism produces spiritual mediocrity. This is why they can be described as “blind guides leading the blind”. Instead of being legalistic, we should strive for love and dedication.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others” (Matthew 23:23).