Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Respectable Sins: Chapters 7 & 8

We almost had a full house this week for bookclub. It was nice. :)

Here’s a snippet of our discussion:


How do you live each day? Do you live like God really exists? Of course you’d never so that you live like He doesn’t. But this chapter was quite confronting about the very fact that we really do live like he’s not a part of the little details. We have our devotions in the morning and then get on with life, and forget about Him for the rest of the day.

How ungodly are you? Quite a confronting question but as Jerry puts it… “If you followed my reasoning this far, you can see that no Christian is totally godly, and to the extent we are not, there is still some degree of ungodliness in us. The question we should honestly and humbly ask is, How ungodly am I? How much of my life do I live without any regard for God? How much of my daily activities do I go through without any reference to God? Page 58

Do you live ALL of life as if God is relevant or irrelevant?

It reminded us of a discussion we had whilst reading ‘Loving God with All Your Mind’ by Elizabeth George. She encourages us to get into the habit of using the down times, when our mind is often not engaged, ie. Doing dishes and mundane tasks, to train our minds. To think on Him. She suggests some practical things like, memorizing scripture whilst you do the dishes, or vacuuming. While walking or driving. Fill your mind with the Word of God.

As we discussed Gods Moral Will that we live lives that please God, we recognized that in many ways we are God’s representatives to the world. Do we live our lives as advertisements for Christ? When people see the way we live, behave, act and interact, is God glorified, or are we just like them. Do they see any in us? We should treat every meeting with others as ‘divine appointments’ and make every interaction with others as positive as it can be. We should seek to be and influence for good. We never know what’s going on in the lives of people around us. They may be having a terrible time, and even that smile, or encouraging word, may be an opportunity to bless them.


Who else found this a challenging chapter? Had you ever truly acknowledged that your anxiety and worry was sin? In our worrying we are displaying our lack of Trust in God. When Paul says in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything”….
‘ “Don’t be anxious,” it has the force of a moral command. In other words, it is the moral will of God that we not be anxious. Or to say it more explicitly, anxiety is sin.’
Page 64

Sometimes our first reaction is fear and anxiety, and its often involuntary. We didn’t feel that this was necessarily wrong but that we should then step back and remember the Lord is in control, rather than indulge it. We must not let our emotions control us.

We loved the anecdote about Gods Agenda versus our on page 65. “Anxiety is a sin also because it is a lack of acceptance of God’s providence in our lives” page 64. As reformed people, we own the belief that God is Sovereign and in control of every detail of our lives. But do we really live like we believe it? Do we accept that when things don’t go according to our plans, that it is because God has a different plan? Even the little plans? Even the printer not working?

I pray that God would help us to see these little trials and frustrations as opportunities to grow in godliness rather than hurdles and obstacles. “Some believers have difficulty accepting the fact that God does in fact orchestrate all events and circumstances, and even those of us who do believe it often lose sight of this glorious truth. Instead we tend to focus on the immediate causes of our anxiety rather than remember that those immediate causes are under the sovereign control of God.” Page 65

Well there is so much more to be said… but I think my post is long enough.

Share with us your thoughts on these chapters… we’re anxious to hear your thoughts!

P.S. I've also started a face book page for the book club, as some of you were having difficulty getting online to post comments, so if you want to follow along on facebook, follow this link to the page. those of you who would like to do this but are not on facebook yet, let me know and I'll send you a facebook invitation.

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