The Seven Deadly sins: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed and sloth. Each of us has succumb to these sinful indulgences. My desire is to recognize them before I am chest deep in them. I do not want to cloak myself in anger. The fury of wrath is wasted energy, wasted love. I do not envy, or rarely desire another person’s talents or possesions. I am more prone to discount myself and wonder why I have not managed to “get there”. Gluttony is the easiest to entertain. Who hasn’t sat down an eaten an entire box of Tagalong Girl Scout cookies? Goodness, I plan and calculate those calories, thus permitting myself the sinfulness. It’s bad! I am not greedy…except about Girl Scout Cookies, Ring Dings, dark chocolate, the last diet coke…..OK I have food issues!
Pridefulness is also known as vanity. I do not consider myself vain, yet I am definitely self-conscious. And…I am prideful. I have learned I get a swift clock upside my head when it gets to big. Big heads are easy targets.
Sloth is the sin du jour. Slovenly dress, slovenly living, slovenly appearances. ModernÂ American society is slovenly. Â By definition, sloth is the AVOIDANCE of physical and spiritual work. Sloth is contagious. Living withÂ people who are slovenlyÂ begets sloth. I also think sloth is theÂ physical manifestation of depression. When you are depressed, who cares to bathe, make the bed, pick up the dirty clothes, put the dishes away proper, mow the lawn, wash the car, go to work, go to church, pray. I know depression is treatable with anti-depressants. But even in best case scenarios, the clinical trial data only supports a 67% remission rate. Counseling gets the rates to 82%. Might the remainly 18% need to address their slothful ways? They AVOID work. This is not indifference or ambivalence, it is a shunning of WORK, both physical and spiritual. This type of person might get “better” by not being so self-absorbed(see pride is the 1st deadly sin). Volunteer. Pray FOR OTHER PEOPLE. Do some real physical labor. Train for a marathon or aim for some outrageous physical obstacle. And try to avoid sloth’s six deadly siblings along the way.
In the battle for the soul and to counterbalance the deadly sins, theologians derived a set of obvious Contrary Virtues: Humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, liberality and diligence.Â They match tit-for-tat the 7 deadly sins.Â Â
To beat pride, be humble.
To squelch envy be kind.
To control gluttony, abstain.
To temper lust, be chaste.
To quiet anger be patient.
To avoid greed, be liberal and generous.
To escape sloth be diligent.
I hope to be quite contrary!