25 January 2013

Book Review: Respectable Sins

When I opened my Christmas gifts from my wife this year, there were a lot of Jerry Bridges books.  In fact, I think all of them were from Jerry Bridges, which is fine by me.  He has been my favorite author as of late.  The most recent one was Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, a book I have been looking forward to reading for a long time. 

In this book, Bridges addresses the sins that we as Christians tolerate. From his preface, "The motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own 'more refined' sins." He acknowledges how deeply our sins, even these more respectable ones, can affect our lives. As he so commonly does, he points to the gospel as the remedy. 

His sixth chapter on "Directions for Dealing with Sins" is particularly worth while.  He suggests:

  1. We should always address our sins in the context of the gospel.
  2. We must always learn to rely on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. While depending on the Holy Spirit, we must at the same time recognize our responsibility to diligently pursue all practical steps for dealing with our sins.
  4. We must identify specific areas of acceptable sins.
  5. We should bring to bear specific applicable scriptures to each of our subtle sins. 
  6. We should cultivate the practice of prayer over the sins we tolerate. 
  7. We should involve one or more other believers with us in our struggle against our subtle sins.  
In the later chapters of the book, he does address specific sins including: ungodliness, anxiety and frustration, discontentment, unthankfulness, pride selfishness, lack of self control, impatience and irritability, anger, the weeds of anger, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy, sins of the tongue, and worldliness.  I was particularly convicted by the chapters on self control and pride as they hit closest to home for me, though I suspect if you are human, you will find conviction and hope here too.  

No comments: