I just finished reading Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges. We had Jerry at our fall Bible conference last year, and this book was his newest release. I promptly bought it, and then began hearing how convicting it was from my friends who read it right away. I knew that I needed to read it, but kept putting it off in favor of books that wouldn't be so painful to read!
Well, painful it was. It seems that Mr. Bridges doesn't name a single "respectable" sin that I don't struggle with. The term "respectable sins" comes from, of course, those sins which we tend to forget are sinful, or that we tolerate in an air of pride because we don't commit those BIG sins that the rest of the world does. We don't commit adultry, we don't lie (at least not overtly), we aren't guilty of assult with a deadly weapon, but we do act selfishly, we are discontent and we sin with our tongue daily (at least I know I do).
J.I. Packer endorses the book with this quote: "Read this book - we need to - and be ready for a gentle surgeon's sharp knife." And that is exactly how I percieve this book. Bridges literally "cuts to the chase" and names our pets sins, shows how abhorrent they are in the sight of a Holy God, and encourages us to confront them, confess them and turn away from practicing them. But the amazing way he does this is worth pointing out: he doesn't only preach to the reader, he uses his own life to show how he often struggles in the same way. He points us continually to the Cross, the only source of true repentance and forgiveness, and continually reminds us that the faith that saves us is the same faith that will sanctify us. In other words, we DO have the power to say no to sin, we DO have the power, through Christ's sacrifice, to change our behavior and to battle those respectable sins.
It is a book worth owning, and reading more than once, to remind us to constantly be searching our own life for "respectable sins." I'm still recovering from his surgery, but thanking God for an author who speaks the truth, even when it hurts.