[T]he serious of the sin of judgmentalism is not so much that I judge my brother as that in so doing I assume the role of God.—pg 144
Envy is the painful and oftentimes resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by someone else… But we don’t just envy people in general. Usually, there are two conditions that tempt us to envy. First, we tend to envy those with whom we most closely identify. Second, we tend to envy in them the areas we value most.—pg 149
Christians slander… when we ascribe wrong motives to people, even though we can’t see their hearts or know their particular circumstances. We slander when we say another believer is “not committed” when he or she does not practice the same spiritual disciplines we do or engage in the same Christian activities we engage in. We slander when we misrepresent another person’s position on a subject without first determining what that person’s position is. We slander when we blow out of proportion another person’s sin and make that person appear to be more sinful than he or she really it.—pg 161
Worldliness means accepting the values, mores, and practices of the nice, but unbelieving society around us without discerning whether or not those values, mores, and practices are biblical. Worldliness is just going along with the culture around us as long as that culture is not obviously sinful.—pg 166
[W]e need to be honest and humble enough to admit our subtle sins in order to experience the love that comes through the forgiveness of those sins. But we most also face them in order to deal with them. The worst sin of all, in practical terms, is the denial of the subtle sins in our lives. We cannot deal with them until we admit their presence.—pg 178
Saving some of the most “respectable” of our “respectable sins” for the last, Bridges begins with a searching look at the judgmentalism that so often mars the lives of otherwise exemplary believers. Whether or not you agree with the positions that he takes on some of the particulars, judgmentalism is a sin that we all need to be confronted with. Envy, jealousy, competitiveness, and a controlling spirit, if left unchecked, will destroy your relationships with others and steal the joy you could otherwise have in what God has already given you. Slander, gossip, and unnecessary criticism wound others in ways that we could not possibly have predicted. Speech does not have to be untrue or profane to be sinful! Finally, worldliness, (see the excellent definition quoted above) is a constant struggle for all of us, no matter how straight laced we may seem to others. Having worked through quite a list of “respectable sins”, Bridges concludes the book with brief chapter of summary and practical exhortation to progress in the areas he has dealt with.
Respectable Sins is a convicting book. It is a challenging read, not because it is difficult to understand, but because the truths it presents are impossible to ignore. In a relatively brief space, Bridges covers so many of the things that mar our testimony and frustrate our progress in sanctification. If you ever get to feeling like you have “arrived” in the Christian life, it might be time to pick it up again!