The Seven Deadly Sins refer to the vices which go against the seven virtues that Christians are supposed to follow. They include greed, lust, wrath, sloth, pride, gluttony, and envy.
The seven deadly sins are believed to be the extreme abuse of one’s mental faculties or passions. Evagrius Ponticus was the philosopher who had identified the seven or eight vices men need to overcome. Although the current form of the Seven Deadly Sins as discussed was not written as such in the Bible, scattered throughout the Bible are references to actions abhorrent to God. In 590, Pope Gregory made a review of the list and came up with the now Seven Deadly Sins. The Catholic Church uses the teaching of the Seven Sins to warn its faithful to avoid them as they lead to evil actions that result in consequences.
Pride is considered to be the worst of the Seven Sins. Pride makes the human mind think that he is equal to God. Another word that better describes it is Hubris. Biblical accounts tell of a proud Lucifer who thought that he was equal to God and led a rebellion against God. Lucifer was banished from Heaven and thrown into Hell with his accomplices. Pride is generally defined as an absence of humility. It is the subject of a proverb that Pride comes before a fall.
Lust refers to the intense general desire for all things that are sinful like sex, power, and money among others. If lust is not properly contained, it can lead to impropriety. Lust makes one be the slave of the devil. Lust for sex leads to devious acts of immorality like bestiality among other acts that make man impure. Lust was what that made King David in the Bible to commit adultery with Bathsheba and later on organizing the death of her husband who used to fight in his army.
Greed is also a sin of desire. Greed is applicable in the never-ending rush to acquire material possessions. Greed makes one commit crimes like murder, robbery, or theft just to quench that desire to get what you don’t have. When you want to get more than what you need, that is greed. Business people who hoard products just to get profit in crisis are also guilty of Greed.
Gluttony is the overindulgence of anything, especially food to the point of wastage. Christians consider Gluttony a sin if it prevents one from helping the needy. The Bible gives an example of Esau who sold his birthright to Jacob just for food.
Sloth is simply laziness. Christians refer to this as sloth when one fails to utilize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives. These gifts are Wisdom, Understanding, Fortitude, Counsel, Knowledge, Piety and the fear of God. Sloth subverts the body as well as the mind and it becomes a terrible source of man’s downfall.
Wrath is the uncontrollable feelings of hatred, anger and even rage. Feelings of revenge often manifest itself in wrath. Wrath is deadly as it may lead one to commit suicide, murder, injury, and destruction of property. Wrath makes people be slaves to their anger.
Envy is similar to greed and lust and it refers to the resentment one feels when he or she admires another person’s possessions. Envy is the reason why Cain killed his brother Abel as he had envied Abel’s sacrifice which God had favored over his. Envy can bring hatred and worse calamities to both the envier and the envied.
Seven Virtues of Christianity
Each of the Seven Deadly Sins are associated with one of the Seven Virtues or Heavenly Virtues of Christianity. These are Chastity (Lust), Temperance (Gluttony), Charity (Greed), Diligence (Sloth), Patience (Wrath), Gratitude (Envy), and Humility (Pride). Although Pride is generally considered to be the original of the Seven Deadly Sins, Charity is considered to be the most important of the Heavenly Virtues.