Ever heard of a thing called “dispositional sins”? Me neither. But when my wife sent me this devotional from A.W. Tozer, I knew that I had seen them too often in my own life. Every read of Tozer is an apologetic for reading “older books.”
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Dispositional sins are fully as injurious to the Christian cause as the more overt acts of wickedness. These sins are as many as the various facets of human nature. Just so there may be no misunderstanding let us list a few of them: Sensitiveness, irritability, churlishness, faultfinding, peevishness, temper, resentfulness, cruelty, uncharitable attitudes; and of course there are many more. These kill the spirit of the church and slow down any progress which the gospel may be making in the community.
Many persons who had been secretly longing to find Christ have been turned away and embittered by manifestations of ugly dispositional flaws in the lives of the very persons who were trying to win them….
Unsaintly saints are the tragedy of Christianity. People of the world usually pass through the circle of disciples to reach Christ, and if they find those disciples severe and sharp-tongued they can hardly be blamed if they sigh and turn away from Him….The low state of religion in our day is largely due to the lack of public confidence in religious people.
—A. W. Tozer; Of God and Men, pp 84-85.
“Oh Lord, if the “state of religion” was low in Tozer’s day, how far into the abyss is it in ours? We need to see this beast that lies in our hearts that ruins the testimony of power in the gospel. Make of us a people who repents and is transformed from the “dispositional sins” that our brother A.W. names, so that Your glory would fill the earth like the water covers the sea. Do this for the advance of Your kingdom and joy of those who have yet to see Your greatness. In Christ’s name. Amen.”