Last night was our monthly book study- we are studying Jerry Bridges’ Respectable Sins. The back of the book cover starts with this quote,”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?” Bridges looks at those “subtle” sins that we tolerate in ourselves and challenges us to take them seriously.
This month’s chapters included pride, selfishness, and lack of self-control. Ouch! Within pride, he discussed our pride in our moral self-righteousness, our pride of correct doctrine, our pride of achievement and our pride in our independent spirit. The applications were endless to me. He challenges the reader, but is always gracious in his tone and points us to Christ who is our example and our Savior.
Within selfishness, Bridges looks at selfishness in our interests, our time, and our finances and then challenges us too about being inconsiderate. Some of the application questions were,”Ask yourself how much time you spend talking about your interests compared to listening to the other person.” “Do you tend to guard your own time for your own ends?” “Are you relatively indifferent to the physical and material needs of people less fortunate than you?” ” Do you think about the impact of your actions on others- how do you treat the waitress or the store clerk that you come in contact with?” At the close of the chapter he challenges us to ask a family member ( you know, the ones we are most real with) to point out any tendencies toward selfishness he or she sees in us. He says,” we should do this without becoming defensive or retaliating” by bringing up the other person’s selfishness. And then we should genuinely repent and pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to begin to deal with those things we have learned.
I am so thankful for my husband who I know will be gracious to me as he lovingly shares those things with me. That still doesn’t make it any easier to ask 🙂 It’s great to read a book that deals so honestly with who we are and yet doesn’t leave us hopeless!
Next month: impatience, irritability, anger. Again Wow!