“Our goal in the pursuit of godliness should be to grow more in our conscious awareness that every moment of our lives is lived in the presence of God; that we are responsible to Him and dependent on Him. This goal would include a growing desire to please Him and glorify Him in the most ordinary activities of life.”Jerry Bridges
This past year, I was given the opportunity to purchase a few books that were recommended to me by trusted sources. It’s become too easy to pick up a book with a Christian genre, but find it filled worldly, selfish, prosperity gospel, and progressive viewpoints that are far from what scripture teaches us. I was very selective with what I read, and even more selective with what I planned on sharing with you all.
Today, the book I suggest you all read is Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges
“If I complain about the difficult circumstances of my life, I impugn the sovereignty and goodness of God and tempt my listener to do the same.”Jerry Bridges
Bridges is mostly known as the author of ‘The Pursuit of Holiness’, which I own and have yet to read. Like I’ve shared about my hesitation to pick up new books without research, my searching for any issues on his teachings seemed to come up empty. Most who have read his work have had little disagreements with his words and all are backed biblically.
The overall intent of his book, Respectable Sins, is to address the sins that we tolerate in ourselves and others. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but my knowledge that in God’s eyes no sin is greater than another, was made even greater through Bridges words and what he drew from the Gospel.
“The sin of worldliness is a preoccupation with the things of this temporal life. It’s accepting and going along with the views and practices of society around us without discerning if they are biblical. I believe that the key to our tendencies toward worldliness lies primarily in the two words “going along”. We simply go along with the values and practices of society.”Jerry Bridges
It’s really not an altogether exciting read or too difficult to understand, but if you are looking to continue to grow in Christ, this book can be a great accompaniment to your daily devotions. Bridges goes over ungodliness, unthankfulness, anxiety, frustration, discontentment, pride, selfishness, lack of self-control, impatience, irritability, anger, judgementalism, envy, jealousy, sins of the tongue, and worldliness (among a few others).
At the time of reading, I felt mostly convicted of ungodliness, unthankfulness, impatience, and selfishness. There are many hard truths engrained through this book, but nothing that we Christians shouldn’t already know…just a gentle reminder that in God’s eyes, the man who is on death row for murder is no greater a sinner than I who hollers at my husband and child out of frustration and impatience.
“Sin is a spiritual and moral malignancy. Left unchecked, it can spread throughout our entire inner being and contaminate every area of our lives. Even worse, it often will “metastasize” from us into the lives of other believers around us.”Jerry Bridges
I know many wouldn’t chose to pick a book up that sounds like it’s about to be condemning and attacking, but Bridges isn’t on attack mode at all. I like to envision him as a friend who’s shining a flashlight on hidden sins that are preventing us from getting closer to God. A comforting part of ‘Respectable Sins’ is that while we will never be able to reach the complete removal of every single sin (until we reach our heavenly home), is that we don’t have to wallow in the helplessness or ignorance because we have the hope of Jesus Christ.
The whole of the book was theologically rich and was not at all legalistic or unattainable…and to me, the most important part of what the sins he wrote about always circled back to the most important truth…that we can be forgiven for all of it.
“Anxiety is a sin also because it is a lack of acceptance of God’s providence in our lives.”Jerry Bridges
I purchased my copy through Thriftbooks HERE but they don’t have any copies in stock right now (use the code D8B4F8FB6 on your order of $30 and receive a free book of your choice).