Respectable Sin #1: Ungodliness

March 5, 2008

(First of a series of my thoughts on the book Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges)

respectable-sins.jpgTo be honest, I wasn’t really sure what “ungodliness” was, let alone whether or not I was guilty of it. Fortunately, the author provided this definition:

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, or of one’s dependence on God.

He also says that it is a sin we are all guilty of to some degree, and that it is more basic, widespread, and likely to cause other sins than anything else.

I thought about how many times in the course of an average day I am ungodly and I was surprised (not in a good way, either). The author’s example really put it into perspective for me:

Now, the sad fact is that many of us who are believers tend to live our daily lives with little or no thought of God. We may even read our Bibles and pray for a few minutes at the beginning of each day, but then we go out into the day’s activities and basically live as though God doesn’t exist. We seldom think of our dependence on God or our responsibility to Him. We might go for hours with no thought of God at all. In that sense, we are hardly different from our nice, decent, but unbelieving neighbor. God is not at all in his thoughts and is seldom in ours.


I let that sink in for a minute.  It’s true — for many of us (myself included) faith is a deeply personal thing that we tend to keep to ourselves.  We compartmentalize it into neat little boxes — saying grace before meals, bedtime prayers, daily Bible readings, church on Sunday.  What we are supposed to do, however, is let our faith permeate every aspect of our lives.  We are commanded in 1 Corinthians 10:31 to do all to the glory of God. But do we?

If we desire to bring glory to Him, we must strive to make everything we do be pleasing to Him and pray to know his will (Colossians 1:9-10). We must also make everything we say and do, even on the most ordinary of days, honor God in front of other people.

So how does one go about becoming more godly? The author suggests that it takes commitment, consistency and training.

“Our goal in the pursuit of godliness should be to grow more in our conscious awareness that every moment of our lives is lived in the presence of God; that we are responsible to Him and dependent on Him. This goal would include a growing desire to please Him and glorify Him in the most ordinary activities of life.”

I am going to pray over the following Scriptures as I pursue godliness, and pray that God will make me more aware of his all-seeing presence in my daily life.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 — Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 — So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Colossians 1:9-10 — So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

Colossians 3:23 — Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Psalm 42:1-2 — As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?

Psalm 63:1 — O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 27:4 — The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.



  1. I may have to get this book for myself! Sounds like I could learn quite a bit.

  2. Ouch is right. We had a study series where you were supposed to stop every x-minutes to specifically reflect on God (set your own goal whether it was 15, 30, 60 etc). BOY was that hard. It still is. You may be passing this book around alot! Or, ok, I may have to get my own.

  3. really awesome book and OUCH! yes, you are right it is hard Suzanne to make yourself stop and think of God during the day and ask Him what He would have you do regarding the present situation, whatever you are doing at that moment…sometimes I know I need to or hear His voice telling me to do something specific and I keep doing what I want, because it’s the easiest! OUCH, double OUCH! You rock Julie for reading this book and pursuing godliness! Godliness Girls Club! LOL!

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