Respectable Sins: Discontentment & Unthankfulness

Introduction & Schedule for blogging on Respectable Sins

Reflections on Chapters 1 & 2

Reflections on Chapters 3 & 4

Reflections on Chapters 5 & 6

Reflections on Chapters 7 & 8

In chapters nine and ten, Bridges continues to take us on a journey into our hearts and our lives to see the sins that we have come to accept and let rule. Next up: discontentment and unthankfulness. I think it is impossible to read these chapters and not come away with some sense of conviction by our attitudes and actions, our thoughts and words, or our lack of trust and faith in God. But the flip side of that conviction is the joy that comes to us and through us when we live life the way it was meant to be lived.

First, in chapter nine, Bridges tackles the topic of discontentment.  While acknowledging that there are legitimate forms of discontentment, particularly with our spiritual growth and with the injustice and evil we see in the world, Bridges is obviously interested in our sinful discontentment.  “Discontentment…most often arises from ongoing and unchanging circumstances that we can do nothing about.”  Then, in chapter ten, Bridges helps us to see how our unthankfulness (often chronic in my opinion) is another sin that we have accepted and failed to acknowledge in our own hearts.  “Taking for granted all the temporal provisions and spiritual blessings that God has so richly bestowed on us, and so failing to continually give Him thanks, is one of our ‘acceptable’ sins.”

Personally, I was much more convicted by the chapter on unthankfulness and that may just be where I am right now.  I appreciated how Bridges has tied all of these first four sins (ungodliness, anxiety & frustration, discontentment, and unthankfulness) together both in exposing the roots and the gospel remedy.   We often think of sins as isolated behaviors or ways of doing business, but they are so often connected and stem from the same sinful roots, such as our failure to acknowledge God in our lives or His sovereignty over our circumstances.  A connection that Bridges didn’t make, but a valid one I think, is between these two sins covered in these chapters.  I find that as I increase my thankfulness to God for a veritable cornucopia of  blessings, I am less tempted to discontentment and even anxiety and frustration.  So there is a connectivity at problem side (our sin), but there  is also a connection at the remedy side (knowing and believing the gospel).

What are your thoughts?

I was also reminded of Nick Vujicic when I read these chapters.  Nick was born without limbs (no arms, no legs) and now has an incredible ministry called Life Without Limbs.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mark Bender on May 21, 2008 at 10:45 am

    I have felt convicted in these sins that are linked together namely, anxiety, worry, frustration, discontentment and unthankfulness. The remedy that Bridges poses has caused me to think differntly about daily life. Bridges points us back to the providence of God which he defines as, “God’s orchestrating all circumstances and events in His universe for His glory and the good of His people.” When I forget this one truth then I am acting in unbelief and I am given to frustration or discontentment. We can truly live with a joy and a peaceful calm even when circumstances are downright miserable. Bridges is showing us the seriousness of these sins but he is also showing us the greatness of our God who is closer to our lives than we ever expected.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Tim Edin on June 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Nice post, preaching through Bridges book right now

    Reply

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