“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!”
I read these verses this morning and am burdened at how the church folks too often ignore parts or over-emphasize certain things. There doesn’t seem to be an order or priority, and yet we take pride in obedience to some, at the exclusion of others. I am glad we encourage morality, but what about the practices that continue in the lives of so many in our churches … hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying …
I am disturbed that we too often ignore the seriousness of these sins. Jerry Bridges discusses many of these sins that the church tends to see as “acceptable” in the book Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate. As the body of Christ, we are to be growing in holiness and encouraging others in the body to do so. By ignoring the sin in each other’s lives for the sake of unity, we are not seeking true unity in holiness and truth, but a false unity based in ignorance. In his book, Bridges encourages us to repent of our pet sins that we can so often make excuses for. A few he mentions are: Anxiety and Frustration, Discontentment, Unthankfulness, Pride, Selfishness, The Weeds of Anger, Envy, Jealousy, and Related Sins, Sins of the Tongue, and several more he mentions.
He says that some sins tend to be accepted in church today, and encourages us to honestly confront the subtle sins we tolerate in our own lives so that we will tend to walk more humbly before God and with respect to the unbelievers toward whom we may be so judgmental.
LORD, continue to remove the blind spots in my life and give me the desire to take time to be holy … In every way You tell us to be!