Lately it seems I'm running into this problem everywhere I turn. Many of us have been set free from the law mindset, we know we never have to try to live up to the Law's standards of righteous in order to be righteous. We know it, we really do! But we don't. In the back of our mind we hear the accusations of our enemy, the little whisper that says "if this grace stuff really is true, you'd be performing better than you did under Law, see that legalist over there? Their marriage is better, they read the Bible more, they worship more passionately."
In fact, every time we make a mistake or something goes terribly wrong in our lives, we feel as if we are on display to every legalist we know, and the weight of the world settles on our shoulders. Now if they don't believe in the gospel of grace, it will be our fault. Grace isn't working for us right now because if it were, we'd be meeting or exceeding the standards of the Law. OOPS!!!! I thought we were no longer under the Law!?!?!?
We are DEAD to the Law. DEAD. DEAD DEAD DEAD! Stop comparing yourself to the Law's standard, or to anyone else's standards! If John Doe Christian out there is giving 75% of his income and living on oatmeal to do it, good for him! If Sister Sally Sadducee happens to pray 3 hours a day and moan and groan and go without food in order to see a hundred souls a day won, give her a pat on the back on your way to bountiful table of food your Father has blessed you with and enjoy! We are NOT in competition with legalists, and I don't care what it looks like, if we were in a competition they wouldn't be winning.
How do I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt? Because the race we're running is the race of faith. NOT the race of self-righteous performance. The moment anyone steps out of the race of faith to start running in the flesh, powering on through their own effort and striving, they've stopped off the same way the hare did in the famous tale of the tortoise and the hare. I think many legalists will watch those in grace and think we're moving far too slowly to ever finish the race, but they are deceived. They think they are running hard and fast when in actuality they've stepped out of the race altogether. If they make it to the finish line at all it will be because Jesus picks them up at some point and carries them across just in time. Even then, it will have nothing to do with their effort but will be due to their grain of mustard seed faith buried deep down under all their dead works.
Stop comparing yourself to the shiny legalist. All you see is the outside of the cup and dish, the whitewashed tomb. Take it from an ex-legalist: the inside is all death. But you, you are alive and free and resting in Jesus!