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The Christian beliefs emanate from two sources which are; The Bible and the Christian tradition. The concept of the seven deadly sins is part of the Christian belief that was not categorically stated in the Bible but came from the Christian tradition.
The old testament has over 613 laws that we should obey to be worthy before God, for instance, ‘thou shall not eat winged animals like bat or pork because they are unclean”. These laws are not like the seven sins because, just as they are in the Bible, the seven sins are not. The seven deadly sins are more of evil habits we must avoid in order not to fall into bigger sins.
Hearing of the seven deadly sins for the first time, you may probably begin to think of them as grievous sins such as murder, stealing, adultery, telling lies, and so on, but these sins are more venial than mortal but can be the bedrock of all heavy sins you can think of.
Sin is a violation of God’s law or an offense against God and religious laws. As a fish swims in the ocean, so does man swim in sin. These seven habits may look powerless, but they truly are the bedrock of all capital sins and should be carved out of the life of every Christian. The seven deadly sins include;
Wrath or anger
Sloth or laziness.
ORIGIN OF SEVEN DEADLY SINS
The concept of the seven deadly sins began in the 4th century with a Christian monk Evagrius of Pontius. In one of his letters, he wrote to his colleagues about eight evil thoughts that are destroying the spiritual lives of the Christians under their care.
According to him, these ‘evil thoughts’ may seem normal in the life of a carnal man, but should not be allowed to persist in the life of Christian seeking righteousness. At this point, he wasn’t writing to the public but his colleagues. In his book, he listed the right evil thoughts as;
Gluttony, Lust, Avarice, Anger, Sloth, Sadness, Vainglory, and Pride.
In the 6th century, pope Gregory 1 came across the note that Evagrius of Pontius made. He rearranged the list in his Commentary on Book of Job. He changed it to the seven deadly sins and replaced sloth with envy. Later on, in the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas revisited the seven deadly sins, and in his book ‘Summa Theology’ he brought back sloth and removed sadness.
Thomas Aquinas also ranked pride the first and most deadly vice of the seven. Today the Christian tradition recognizes the Thomas Aquinas list as the seven deadly sins except that pride replaced vainglory.
Shouldn’t the deadly sins be more or less than seven? Why seven?
The number seven has a biblical significance. Seven is regarded as the number of God because so many references are made to seven in the scripture. In Genesis 2:2, God created the universe, and on the seventh day, he rested.
The seventh day of the week is the Lord’s holy day. Moreso, the Jews recognize seven feasts and holy days. Most things in the book of revelation revolve around seven because seven shows holiness, godliness, and completeness. Seven is just the perfect number for it. Not six, not eight. Just seven.
7 DEADLY SINS AND BIBLE VERSES
These seven deadly sins are not the most grievous. They aren’t even mortal sins. But they are habits that we must avoid by all means to remain righteous before God. It is pertinent to note that these sins are interconnected.
Avoiding one can be avoiding another. For instance, being a glutton means you’re greedy and that you’re lustful about food. Being unable to take hold of these sins will lead you to the same endpoint of committing the same mortal sins. Pride, envy, wrath, and greediness can all lead to killing.
Incidentally, these seven vices have seven virtues that can help you maintain a righteous life. Instead of letting the vices grow inside of you, pray that God replaces them with the following virtues; kindness for envy, temperance for gluttony, a charity for greed, chastity for lust, humility for pride, diligence for sloth, and patience for wrath. Let’s look at them one after the other.
It is a feeling of being better than others. When you’re proud, you see others as they are not up to your standards. A proud man is so boastful of the little success he has achieved that he sometimes blocks further success from coming.
Prov:11:2 says” when pride comes, then comes disgrace but with humility comes, wisdom. Pride ends in doom and downfall.
Daniel 5:20” but when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed of his Royal throne and stripped of his glory.
Pride is not the same as self-respect. The former is an excess of the latter. As the most deadly vice, it can give rise to so many other mortal sins such as murder, telling lies, bribery, and so on. The spirit of pride spurs every other vice increasing sin until the conscience is completely dead.”
Pride makes you wicked and heartless. A proud man listens to nobody else but himself, he is a bad leader, a detector, and an inconsiderate person.
God dislikes the proud so much. prov:16:5 says “the Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this; they shall not go unpunished.”
Pride is a character. It is a mindset. Desist from such a mindset and replace pride with the virtue of humility. James 4:6b reminds us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”
You are greedy when you seek so much wealth and material things all to yourself even after you’ve had enough. A greedy man is not contented. He is selfish. He wants the whole world to himself at the expense of others. Nothing for him is enough, so he continues to fight for more.
Luke 12:15” then he said to them; watch out! Be in guard against all kinds of greed. Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions”.
This is to say that there is more to life than gatherings all sort of useless wealth to yourself.
It is a sin to be greedy. Nothing good but destruction comes from greed.
Eccl 5:10 discouraged greediness. It said, “whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income; this too is meaningless.”
Why do you stress yourself acquiring all this earthly wealth which you know is vanity upon vanity? Before you get so greedy, ponder on
Mark 8:36” what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul!”
Greed brings hate, contempt, pride, gluttony, lust, wickedness.
Instead of gathering the wealth all to yourself, embrace charity. Charity is a virtue of giving to the needy and helpless. God loves a cheerful giver.
Prov: 22:1” A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Gluttony is the vice of eating so much food. One who takes in food in excess and a voracious manner is a glutton.
Food is essential to the body. It becomes hazardous to the body and sinful to God when it is consumed excessively.
God does not support gluttony or wastage of food. In Mark 6:43, after Jesus had fed the five thousand men, He didn’t allow the wastage of food, rather commissioned his disciplines to gather the leftovers. They did as instructed, and it filled twelve baskets.
Gluttony produces nothing but a useless individual. Nothing about a glutton is moderate. When you go to a party, you drink until you can barely see your way back home. When you eat, you eat until you can no longer move.
Eating a lot of food while others go hungry means you care not about your fellow human being, and that is what God hates. Heb:13:16″ don’t neglect to do good and to share what you have for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Gluttony doesn’t just apply to edibles. You are a glutton when you aren’t moderate in the daily activities of life, and you don’t have self-control over the things around you. Everything worldly takes charge of you because you can’t subside your inner cravings. Imagine a whole lot of other mortal sins this could lead you to.
Temperance is the virtue of gluttony. Be moderate. Apply self-control while you eat and if it becomes excessive, give it out because there’s are so many out there who have nothing to eat for a whole day.
Matt: 25:40 says whatsoever you do to the least of these brothers and sisters, that you do unto me.
The intense desire for sexual satisfaction, money, and other material things is lust. Lust is synonymous with passion. Both have to do with intense desires, but, while the former has an evil consequence, the latter has a positive result.
Lust can begin growing in a person, and without any callback measures, can lead to bigger sins such as fornication, adultery, prostitution, masturbation, homosexuality, or lesbianism.
Our body is the temple of the holy spirit (1 Cor:6:19) and such, is not supposed to be misused. Both man and woman can be victims of lust. A man looks at a woman lustfully, so does a woman.
A lonely teenager can sometimes mistake lust for love; This is common and is somehow not easy to differentiate. But get this, lust comes after your body and takes your treasures away from you, but love is unconditional, and love stays by you to ensure the best for you, just like the love our Lord Jesus showed us on the cross.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LOVE AND LUST
- Love gives you lasting happiness, but lust gives you temporal happiness. There is joy at the beginning and leaves you with sadness and bitterness afterward.
- Love is patient. Lust is impatient
- Love is selfless. Lust is selfish.
- Love upholds till forever, lust abandons by the way
- Love forgives, lust condemns.
Fight lust with chastity. Train yourself to control your feelings, passions, and cravings. Channel that energy you ordinarily will put to lust into some more productive work. Share true love with people.
WRATH is another word for anger. Anger literarily means being upset. Most people commit the worst crime in their moment of anger which they are bound to regret later. Acting in anger is the most terrible mistake you can ever make.
Anger is more like a spirit that posses you when someone or something has made you unhappy. It makes you a different person entirely. When you’re angry and can’t control it, it makes you do what you will ordinarily not do. And so, it is a vice.
It is normal to be angry, but nothing good comes from being unable to control your anger. Anger destroys a person. When you’re always angry, you find it difficult to accept people, you find it difficult to be positive, and every action taken is a product of bad decisions.
Moses had a very high temperament because he stutters. He is always unable to control himself when he’s angry. Finally, it got him into murdering an Egyptian. He hid the body in the sand and fled. (Ex 2:11-15).
Anger is not a virtue and therefore shouldn’t be a part of Christian James 1: 19-20 ” my dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everybody should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to became angry because anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires”.
Be patient. Do not rush into actions while angry. Leave the spot of anger. Give yourself some time. Calm down and avoid making mistakes. Eph 4:26 says” in your anger, do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you’re still angry.”
#6. SLOTHFULNESS OR LAZINESS
Gen 2:15 ” the Lord took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Who are you not to work as God has assigned you? From birth, God has assigned to you a purpose on earth. It is sinful to be lazy and leave your duties undone.
Being unable to put enough effort into work or being sluggish in attending to work and daily activity is laziness. A lazy man is useless. Everything in life requires hard work, when you refuse to put in the work, surely there will be nothing to show off.
Jesus was not lazy while He was on earth, He performed his work diligently ensuring that all his duties were carried out at the right time, and in the manner that pleased his father in heaven. What does laziness bring to the table? Nothing. It only brings insult and disrespect from fellows. Why should you be part of it?
Relaxation and enjoyment shouldn’t be the priority. Work has to come first before rest. Be diligent and take responsibility.
Prov:10:14” lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth”
Can I define envy as an excess of jealousy? Yes, I can. Jealousy could be resentment that emanates from perceived success or the advantage a person has over another.
Think of it this way, jealousy is normal. Jealousy can make you double your efforts to get to that point where your friend is. It becomes bad when you begin planning for your neighbor’s downfall instead of working hard to attain great heights too.
That is when it becomes envy. Envy is when you’re not happy with someone else’s progress and achievement and plans or wishes they crumble or fail.
Our God is jealous, He does not want to share his children with any other God, and as such, He protects us and provides for us. That is what we should do when we get the feeling of being left out.
Gather yourself together, work hard and pray, you’ll get there. Do not forget that everybody’s time is different, so while you pray, work and wait.
Fight envy with kindness. Do not give hate a chance. Be kind and you will be great too.
Love. Love is the greatest commandment that Jesus has given to us.( Matt:22:35-40 ). Love is the solution to all vices.
1cor:13:4 “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast it is not proud.”