As I read Chapter 8, I began to consider levels of sin. Years ago, I taught Sunday School from a book by Jerry Bridges called Respectable Sins. His premise was that Christians today have become so preoccupied with the major sins of our society that they have lost sight of our need to deal with our own more subtle sins.
Does God have a sliding scale for sin?
Are some sins more serious than others?
Bridges lists the following sins as the more “subtle” sins that we often excuse: living an ungodly life, which means not thinking about God as we go through our day. Others are anxiety, frustration, unthankfulness, pride, selfishness, lack of self-control, impatience, irritability, anger, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy, sins of the tongue and worldliness.
Bridges calls these the sins of the believers. These sins are excused and in the context of Chapter 8, probably minimized. Do we need to deal with them?
I think what may be going on here is the “Jerry Springer” mentality. If you have seen this sparkling example of television art, Mr. Springer brings guests on his show who have major problems. Many Christians would say they have done some serious sinning. They reveal anti-social behavior on the show which naturally leads viewers to compare their behavior to the Springer guests. I can imagine that many folks say “I have problems but at least I don’t have as many as that person!” What are we doing when we do that? We are justifying our behavior and minimizing our sins.
Should we do this? I don’t think so.
Pastor Idleman has what he calls an “old saying” in Chapter 8: “Sin will always take you further than you want to go. Sin will always cost you more than you want to pay. Sin will always keep you longer than you want to stay.”
Remember Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Face up to the sin. Don’t minimize it. Deal with it. There is nothing “respectable” about sin.