Respectable Sins

John 8:33-34

They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”

Sin has become…respectable. Well, some sins, that is. Many believers rail about the sins of society while harboring their favorite personal sins. In his excellent book, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, Jerry Bridges notes that many believers “deflect” the idea of sins to those outside the church who commit the “flagrant” ones. Bridges writes:

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 the gracious qualities that Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit [love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control] . . . But on the whole, we appear to be more concerned about the sins of society than we are the sins of the saints. [1]

Bridges reminds followers of Christ that “God has not given us the right to establish values for different sin.” All sin enslaves us…even the “respectable” ones.

Heavenly Father, show me if I am living with two categories of sin. Please don’t let me live with “respectable” sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


[1] Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate (Carol Stream, Ill.: Nav Press, 2007).



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


In Spirit and Truth – Part 2

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