Musings from a Theo-Geek's post on March 27, 2011, Legalism is Rooted in Insecurity is more than Legalism 101.
How to become a Legalist
1) Make rules outside the Bible.
2) Push yourself to try and keep your rules.
3) Castigate yourself when you don't keep your rules.
4) Become proud when you do keep your rules.
5) Appoint yourself as judge over other people.
6) Get angry with people who break your rules or have different rules.
7) "Beat" the losers.
Sadly, I have one more rule to add to the list from my personal experience:
8) Now that You are a legalistic, manipulative leader and You can easily control the others who follow you, You no longer have to follow your own rules! plus You can make up new rules to control the others at your whim---control and manipulation being the thing.
Legalism comes in many forms. Each form is a burden to people. Read the Word and be set free in His truth.
" ...a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but through faith in Christ Jesus."
Romans 14 discusses disputable matters - personal issues to which you are not to hold others legally bound.