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Monday, August 2, 2010

My "Respectable" Sins

From Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, pages 19-20.

So we see that the entire concept of sin has virtually disappeared from our American culture at large and has been softened...

But what about our conservative, evangelical churches? Has the idea of sin all but disappeared from us also? No, it has not disappeared, but it has, in many instances, been deflected to those outside our circles who commit flagrant sins such as abortion, homosexuality, and murder, or the notorious white-collar crimes of high-level corporate executives. It's easy for us to condemn those obvious sins while virtually ignoring our own sins of gossip, pride, envy, bitterness, and lust, or even our lack of those gracious qualities that Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23)...

But on the whole, we appear to be more concerned about the sins of society than we are the sins of the saints. In fact, we often indulge in what I call the "respectable" or even "acceptable" sins without any sense of sin...

Why do we not also mourn over our selfishness, our critical spirit, our impatience, and our anger? It's easy to let ourselves off the hook by saying, these sins are not as bad as the flagrant ones of society. But God has not given us the authority to establish values for different sins. Instead, He says through James, "Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for [is guilty of] all of it." (James 2:10)...

The Bible speaks not of God's laws, as if many of them, but of God's law, as a single whole.

All sin is serious because all sin is a breaking of God's law.

Jean says:

Dear Lord, my Holy God, this is some heavy stuff. I need to let these words burrow deep into my heart. It IS easy for me to focus on the sins of society and overlook the sins of this particular saint.

Forgive my hypocrisy, God.

I am basically a selfish person and I can easily fall into behaving in selfish ways.

I so easily slide into having a critical spirit--critical of what other people do, and of how, and even why, they do it.

All too often I am impatient with other people, with processes and protocols, with myself, and even with You. You, the Sovereign God of time, the Creator of time, the Owner of time. And I become impatient when You don't follow my tiny time table.

And I hate to admit this, God, but I can be an angry person, too. Lord, wipe that tendency to respond in anger right out of my heart and mind, please. Don't let me be a slave to a quick temper. That kind of anger comes from exasperation, from false expectations, from being a control freak, from an unforgiving spirit. Wipe it out and replace it with graciousness, kindness, patience, trusting You with my days and the latitude that comes with gratitude.

God says:

You hit the nail on the head, Little One. You ARE basically a selfish person. And that's just the way our enemy, that old devil, likes it. You were born with a selfish nature that makes you want to protect you, provide for you, give to you, satisfy you, take care of you--#1.

That's your sin nature, and every human has one.

But I hit the nail on the head, too, Little One. When I stretched out my arms and suffered the agony of the nails at Calvary I gave you a way out of the behaviors that awful sin nature drives you toward. I made a way not only for forgiveness--I made a way of escape for you. You do not have to cave in to that sin nature. You have a way out.  [1 Cor. 10:13]

It's Calvary. It's Jesus' blood. Not only for your soul's salvation, but for your earthly life's restoration.

Confess. Believe. Accept My help each day, one temptation to sin at a time.