This week I started reading a book we have had here for some time now sitting on a shelf. It has certainly been convicting to me and I have had some special moments with the Lord as we talk about some of the issues mentioned in the book.
Have Christians become so preoccupied with the major sins of our society that we have lost sight of our need to deal with our own more subtle sins?
In his admonitions, Jerry Bridges' offers a message of hope in the profound mercy of the gospel and the transforming grace of God as the means to overcome our subtle sins.
The “Respectable Sins”So what sins are “respectable sins”? Bridges’ chapters include the following topics:
- general ungodliness defined as a sinful attitude towards God
- anxieties and frustrations
- pridefulness revealed specifically in self-righteousness, even in a pursuit of theological accuracy, in prideful motives behind our achievements and revealed in a spirit of independence
- selfishness with our interests, time, money and inconsiderableness
- lack of self-control in eating, drinking and temperament, finances, entertainment and shopping
- impatience and irritability
- anger, even anger towards God, and the underlying roots of anger in resentment, bitterness, enmity, hostility and holding grudges
- judgmentalism and a critical spirit over differing convictions and doctrinal disagreements
- envy, jealousy, competitiveness and being controlling
- the sins of the tongue like gossip, slander, lying, harsh words, sarcasm, insults and ridicule
- worldliness shown financially, by our idolatry and in “vicarious immorality,” that is, the enjoyment of watching or reading the sinfulness of others.
Loving Lord and heavenly Father, I offer up today all that I am, all that I have, all that I do, and all that I suffer, to be Yours today and Yours forever. Give me grace, Lord to do all that I know of Your holy will. Purify my heart, sanctify my thinking, correct my desires. Teach me, in all of today's work and trouble and joy, to respond with honest praise, simple trust, and instant obedience, that my life may be in truth a living sacrifice, by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, my Master and my all. Amen
(prayer taken from Elizabeth Elliott paper)