Friday, 30 October 2009

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

The first book I ever studied in a small group was ‘Pursuit of Holiness’ by Jerry Bridges – a gem of a book which I still have. Respectable Sins is an admirable companion.

Immensely readable, the truths contained in it are both easy to grasp and difficult to implement. We are all guilty of sinning but, as Bridges says, we excuse ourselves. This book challenges that attitude: any sin, however, small, is anathema to God and we would do well to develop ‘zero tolerance’ towards the ‘little’ misdemeanours. Sins such as anger, pride, self-righteousness and sins of the tongue are all familiar to us and are sin even when present to a very minor degree. Add to the list ungodliness, anxiety, frustration, discontentment, unthankfulness, an independent spirit, selfishness, inconsiderateness, lack of self-control, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy and worldliness – there is no area of our lives where, if we are honest with ourselves, we can claim to be ‘sin-free’.

Such a long list might seem disheartening, but Jerry Bridges offers encouraging advice, practical help and real stories which give the reader confidence in defeating sin. An accompanying discussion guide, suitable for both personal and group study, is a useful tool for practical action.

Read the book slowly, pausing to examine your life in the light of each chapter. Life-changing.

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