Respectable Sins: Ungodliness

Introduction & Schedule for blogging on Respectable Sins

Reflections on Chapters 1 & 2

Reflections on Chapters 3 & 4

Reflections on Chapters 5 & 6

As I said, at the end of my last post on Jerry Bridges book Respectable Sins, now the fun begins as Bridges begins to dig into the “respectable sins”.

I have to confess that I wasn’t sure I knew what Bridges meant by “Ungodliness”, which is the title of chapter seven. But now I know and I think I would prefer the bliss of my ignorance. “Ungodliness may be defined as living one’s everyday life with little or no thought of God, or of God’s will, or of God’s glory, of one’s dependence on God” (54). In this way, we are all guilty of the sin of ungodliness as we often do our own thing, think our own thoughts, and make our plans with little thought to God or His glory. Anticipating an objection, Bridges differentiates between ungodliness and wickedness or unrighteousness. He sees ungodliness as an attitude toward God, whereas unrighteousness refers to sinful action in thought, word, or deed.

This “respectable sin” primarily shows itself in our failure to think about or act out of a knowledge of our dependence upon God or our responsibility to Him. And this is what I find so convicting. If we think about it, I think we would be amazed at how much we do without any thought towards God. We can be in church on Sunday and worship God, and then we can act as if all that was said and done on Sunday has no bearing on Monday -Saturday. This is true, even if you are a pastor. I had pause after reading this: “A person may be moral and upright, or even busy in Christian service, yet have little or no desire to develop an intimate relationship with God. This is a mark of ungodliness” (58). There are some advantages to be a pastor in terms of developing an intimate relationship, but it is no guarantee.

I certainly have thought about the challenge that I and other Christians face to live all of life (from the mundane to the marvelous) before the face of God and for his glory. The problem and the disconnect is that I have rarely identified it as an area of sinfulness that needs to be addressed in our hearts, thereby substantiating the idea of “respectable” or “acceptable” sins.

  • How ungodly am I? (Bridges question on page 58; answer for yourself…not me!)
  • Are you concerned that you if were living a “godly” life, you would become or be perceived as a “crazy Christian”?
  • What wold you do differently in your various activities of the day if you were seeking to do all to the glory of God? (another question of Bridges)
  • Do you agree with Bridges that ungodliness (as defined) is a “respectable sin” and one that need addressing in your life?
  • Are you living for God’s glory? Or your own?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Great truth! Thanks for sharing… I’ll be checking back –



  2. Posted by adamtisdale on May 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement. I enjoyed listening to your songs on virb this afternoon.


  3. Good post. I’ve been thinking about this idea lately, in the form of a blog post/essay I may work up along the lines of “what keeps us from thinking biblically?” The Bridges material mentioned above is spot-on along those lines.

    Keep up the good work!


  4. Posted by adamtisdale on May 12, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I will look forward to your post (when/if it comes). Thanks for the encouragement.


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