Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness challenges readers to obey God’s command of holiness and obedience. We cannot simply pray and passively wait for our sinful habits to disappear. Self-discipline and responsibility is a major part of holiness. Bridges uses a metaphor of farming to illustrate this idea. He explains that a farmer cannot simply pray for prosperous crops. He must prepare the ground, plant seeds, and thoroughly care for them. Similarly, we must put sincere effort into overcoming our own sins.

Bridges makes many compelling points in his book. He shows how no sin is small enough that it can be overlooked or accepted. For example, a person with an obsession for playing and watching tennis may not want to categorize her activity as sinful. However, allowing a seemingly harmless activity to dominate one’s life is a huge sin according to Biblical teachings. More obvious, movies, music, and television shows that evoke impure thoughts are also sinful.

The Pursuit of Holiness provides a quick quiz to determine if a certain activity is productive or an example of disobedience. When unsure, one should ask the following questions about the activity: 1) Is it helpful—physically, spiritually, and mentally? 2) Does it bring me under its power? 3) Does it hurt others? 4) Does it glorify God?

One of the most powerful messages in the book for me, concerns overcoming jealousy and envious thoughts. Instead of desiring what someone else has, we should ask God to bless that person “even more and give you a spirit of contentment so that you will not continue to envy” (102). We should be motivated by holiness instead of envy and materialism.

Overall, the messages found in this book are vital for anyone struggling with sin. Whether it is overeating, sexual deviance, hatred, or any other sin, this book will show readers how to overcome it so we can lead holy lives and attain salvation. The message is straightforward and communicated in only 154 pages. Bridges does not waste time with unimportant details that may push readers away. I highly recommend this quick but powerful book to others.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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