From Grant to You
Jerry Bridges was a friend of mine from whom I learnt a lot. He wrote and spoke a great deal about godliness, which this issue (Compass Summer 2023) is focused on. In his book ‘Respectable Sins’ (content warning – don’t read it if you don’t want to be convicted) he defines ungodliness in the chapter with that title “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 explains that there is a difference between wickedness (or unrighteousness) and ungodliness1. We often equate the two, but wickedness or unrighteousness refers to sinful actions in thought, word and deed whereas ungodliness describes an attitude toward God. So you can be a perfectly pleasant person, a nice neighbour who works hard, is a good employee or boss, who cares for their family and friends, and has strong morals, but still be ungodly if you are not a believer. BUT, he says, 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 neighbour. God is not at all in his thoughts and is seldom in ours. Both are ungodly.
As we read this issue of Compass, may we be convicted and encouraged to train ourselves to be godly as 1 Timothy 4:7 says.
Together let us go wherever He leads and do whatever He asks.
1 John 14:16-17