The Discipline of Grace (Chapter 2.2)

God’s role and our role in the pursuit of holiness




These are the sins of nice people, sins that we can regularly commit and still retain our positions as elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, and yes, even full-time Christian workers.

What are some of these “refined” sins?

We need to take seriously Jesus’ warning about a critical spirit in Matthew 7:3Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” We need to learn to back off from judging others and leave that to God, as the Apostle Paul instructed us when he said, “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4). A judgmental spirit is too often a vice of committed Christians. We need to recognize it as the sin it really is.

A judgmental spirit usually reflects itself in speech that is critical of others. The Scriptures do not allow of any gossip or criticism, or any other form of unwholesome speech, even if what we say it true. Only honest criticism given from a heart of love in a spirit of humility can qualify as that which builds up the other person.

What are some other “refined” sins that we can commit and still be respectable among our Christian friends? These would include resentment, bitterness, an unforgiving spirit, impatience, and irritability.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30). All sin grieves God.


Summarized from The Discipline of Grace written by Jerry Bridges


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