Jerry Bridges never fails to make me think — sometimes he touches on a topic that I have thought about a lot. But with a slightly different angle. Sin is one of those topics. Goodness gracious, if we haven’t thought about the sin in our own lives…well, we’re just deceiving ourselves. Surely we can’t imagine that we’ve finally “made it” and we sin no more! But just because we are ALL sinners does not relieve us of our responsibility to live holy lives. Sorry, the excuses don’t cut it: “Hey, I can’t help it! Don’t blame me, I’m only human. It’s no big deal. Who’s to know? We all fall short. Nobody’s perfect.”
In the first chapter of The Pursuit of Holiness, he cites several scripture verses to help us understand the concept of holiness. And, yes, it appears that holiness is to be a part of our lives. He then asks:
“If holiness, then, is so basic to the Christian life, why do we not experience it more in daily living? Why do so many Christians feel constantly defeated in their struggle with sin? Why does the Church of Jesus Christ so often seem to be more conformed to the world around it than to God?”
Good questions, eh? He then suggests the answers to these questions. He writes:
“Our first problem is that our attitude toward sin is more self-centered than God-centered. We are more concerned about our own ‘victory’ over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God. We cannot tolerate failure in our struggle with sin chiefly because we are success-oriented, not because we know it is offensive to God.”
I have known that sin is chiefly against God, though it will always affect others, for a long time. I know that. But I don’t always view my own personal sin in that light. Well, if I’m taking the time to really consider what God is trying to teach me through different situations, I tend to think about my sins as against God.
But, I all too often tend to skim over my sins…just give them a quick glance, nod my head in recognition, maybe even mumble “sorry” and ask for forgiveness (in a light-hearted way, if that’s possible!). I hadn’t considered why I didn’t take all of my sins seriously…and seriously take them to God. Ack! It’s pride! I’m too proud to admit to myself and to my God that I haven’t resolved sin issues in my heart. As if He doesn’t already know…
Self-centeredness and pride. Those were the two biggies that we pointed out to our children as being almost always the root of any of our problems and conflicts. If we looked deeply enough.
And, you know, they’re still the two biggies.
Lord, forgive me. I have sinned against You. And it is breaking my heart to know that I am breaking Yours.