Lately I have been reading "Respectable Sins" by Jerry Bridges. It's been a slow read for me, although it's not necessarily a hard book to read. It is taking me some time because I keep re-reading parts, hoping that the repetition will help me retain many of the truths shared in the book. (Tim Challies has a thorough review of the book here.)
Bridges shares in the Preface that "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' or subtle sins."
It is easy to try and classify sins while trying to minimize my own, often thinking my sin isn't as dreadful as the sins of others. Yet I still need to focus on the Gospel as I seek the power of Christ in dealing with the many 'respectable sins' in my life.
Bridges doesn't get into the discussion of specific 'respectable sins' until Chapter 7. By that point I was ready to read about them and know how to conquer certain ones in my life, thinking there may be only 1 or 2 that I would need to study. Because I'm not that sinful right?
Oh - so wrong! Each chapter brought more awareness of the subtleness of the sin in my heart. As I kept reading each chapter I would think "surely I can't just sit back, relax, and read the next chapter without any conviction"... But not the case. Each chapter has brought to light areas in my life that I need to be on my knees about. Although I have finished the book, I am going to review several chapters again for deeper study.
One of the things I love about Bridges in this book is that it is centered on the truth of God's Word while sharing practical ways to deal with these sins. He writes with humility and grace. There is hope in the Gospel - and for that I am thankful!
Read it when you get the chance!