i know what y'all are thinking.....say what??
chase and i are reading a book (well, not at the same time. that would be a disaster...he reads some, i read some. we discuss. you get the picture) titled "respectable sins" by jerry bridges.
at this point, i know at least one of you is wondering, "is laura really reading a real book?" and yes. i am. true, i have not been a huge reader in my life. actually, i read every single one of the baby sitter's club books when i was in like 4th grade, but it's been downhill since then. i was the person that got books on tape for that stinking summer reading all throughout school and made my mom listen to it in the car on the way to tennis tournaments. of course, that was right up her alley. she usually had to wake me up 5 seconds into it. and although i considered myself a fairly good student, i absolutely could not read "as i lay dying" in the 11th grade. yes, i realize that i am putting down a major literary work here, but come on.....for real?? and, it's the one time that i took a test and did not study for it (which was impossible due to the lack of, ya know, reading). and i do remember getting a grade that reflected said lack of reading. still passing, but nowhere close to an A. oh well, i managed to graduate high school, college, and pharmacy school and do not consider myself any worse off for skipping that william faulkner masterpiece (term used loosely here).
but, i'm getting so much better at the reading thing lately. and i'm actually enjoying it. i think i've finished more books since christmas than i have in my lifetime (not counting the baby sitter's club).
ok.....back to the topic at hand. this book is about the "subtle" sins of believers. it basically talks about how we have become so preoccupied with the "major" sins of society that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own "little" sins. wow. eyes opened and knocked on butt. seriously. every time i read a little bit more, i'm more and more convicted. it's like i'm shorty walking toward the sun and seeing more and more how dirty i am (shorter catechism reference there!).
there are chapters dealing with specific "respectable" sins....ungodliness, frustration, anxiety, discontentment, pride, anger, impatience, etc. things that i never even thought of before as being a sin (probably should have, but didn't) are making me see each day and situation in a totally new way.
this makes me think of a conversation that my mom and i had quite a few times when i was little. i never could see how stealing a bag of M&Ms from wal-mart could be as bad as killing somebody. (i never did steal a bag of M&Ms from wal-mart...just to make that clear. although, william tried to get out of kroger with a baby ruth one day. note to self...when william learns to read, he will read this book). she told me over and over that a sin is a sin. there are not degrees of sin. god doesn't like sin. no matter what kind it is. (see....i do listen, mama...most of the time.)
anyway, i just wanted to put the title of this book in your head in case you were looking for some good reading. it has a workbook that goes along with it that chase and i are working through right now, too. i promise, it's an eye-opener.
let me end this with a few sentences from chapter 8:
"...whatever in our lives in not like jesus is sin. granted, we will never achieve complete freedom from anxiety or frustration [or other "respectable" sins] in this life. but we should never accept them as just part of our temperament any more than we would accept adultery as part of our temperament. keep in mind that even though anxiety and frustration [or others] may not be as serious as adultery, they are still sins. and all sin is serious in the eyes of a holy god.
there is good news, though...
all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. isaiah 53:6
now go read!