The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Seven Capital or Seven Cardinal Sins, are seven vices or negative character qualities that stimulate other sins and immoral behaviors when left unchecked. The 7 Deadly Sins that hasten spiritual degradation are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. The 7 Deadly Sins was first enumerated by Pope Gregory the 1st in the 6th century and later elucidated and elaborated by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century.
The 7 Deadly Sins, considered to be extremely grave sins, are the most basic sins that trouble human beings and lead them away from the path of righteousness and godly living.
These 7 Deadly Sins lead to other sins such as lust resulting in adultery and anger leading to murder, which are mortal sins that separate us from the love of God.
Brief Description of the 7 Deadly Sins
Let us now find the description of each of these seven deadly sins in typical order.
Pride or Vainglory: It refers to inflated sense of one’s accomplishments and unrealistic feeling of self-worth. Called the root of all other sins, it denotes loving oneself above others and even above God. Pride is considered the most original and deadliest of all sins. It leads to hatred and contempt of others, glorifying one’s achievements above God’s, failing to acknowledge the success of others, and vanity and narcissism.
Greed or Avarice: It denotes a strong, excessive, selfish desire to possess things belonging to others. Avarice refers to an unjustifiable pursuit of material ownership (acquisition of wealth) contrary to the values of equity and charity. Being a sin of excess, it encourages humans to condemn things that are eternal for the sake of worldly or temporal things. Hoarding, robbery, trickery, and violence are some of the actions inspired by greed. Greed leads to disloyalty, betrayal, treason, malice, bribery, and manipulation of authority.
Lust or Lechery: An unrestrained yearning for sexual gratification as opposed to the virtue of chastity. It is a craving to have illicit sexual pleasure with a person other than a wife or husband. It is a depraved thought and considers people as mere objects of sexual desire. It does not look for approval or recognition from society or religious laws. It also comprises unnatural sexual acts and appetites. Some of the extreme forms of lust include adultery, sodomy, rape, and bestiality. It detracts humans from the love of God and leads them into the path of destruction.
Envy or Jealousy: It is characterized by intense feelings or insatiable desires for possessing what someone has and deprive them of theirs. It is acute jealousy towards the success, virtues, talents, and happiness of others. It is a feeling of discontent or resentment against someone’s traits, status, abilities, gifts, or rewards. Envy is associated mainly with love or success and is opposed to brotherhood and generosity. Envious people gain sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low.
Gluttony or Binge Eating/Drinking: It is an excessive desire involving overindulging and overconsuming food and beverages, unreasonably and unnecessarily, for the pleasure and enjoyment of eating and drinking. It includes overeating anything to the point of waste and devouring food to an unhealthy excess. In Latin (gluttire), it means to gulp down or swallow. It is considered a sin as the uncontrolled desire for food leads to withholding it from the needy and deprived. It is opposed to temperance and sobriety. It is marked by a refusal to share resources and could lead to destructive behavior such as binge drinking or substance abuse.
Wrath or Anger: It denotes an unrestrained and inappropriate inclination to inflict revenge, as opposed to patience and meekness. It means to have uncontrolled feelings of hatred and act in hostility. Desiring vengeance because of indignation (anger due to unfair treatment) leads to becoming impatient with the judiciary process, seeking retribution outside the law, and unnecessary vigilantism. Anger is also the wish to cause evil or harm due to ill feelings based on race, gender, ethnicity, class, etc. Rage causes discriminatory practices, intemperate outbursts of dislike, unwarranted desire for another’s punishment, and stigmatization. Some of the worse sins of wrath include genocide and crimes against humanity. According to Dante, wrath is the love of justice perverted to revenge and spite.
Sloth or Laziness: It denotes a lack of effort causing a task to go incomplete or done badly. Laziness denies God’s will for the sake of comfort and is characterized by an absence or insufficiency of love. It refers to a spiritual indifference that affects the faithful by discouraging them from performing their physical or spiritual duty. It turns people away from spiritual things because of the effort they require and is opposed to piety and love of God.
When people are spiritually slothful, they reject the grace and mercy of the Almighty One, leading to guilt and shame. According to Dante, laziness is the failure to love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls. Being slothful is an act of unwillingness to work or care. Laziness leads to sadness, instability, restlessness, dissatisfaction, and uneasiness of the mind.
The 7 Heavenly Virtures Against the 7 Deadly Sins
Each of these seven vices has seven corresponding virtues. These are humility, charity, chastity, gratitude, temperance, patience, and diligence.
Humility is the opposite of pride. It refers to selflessness and recognizing that talents, abilities, and success are gifts from the Supreme Being, and we should be grateful to Him with all our hearts. Remember, the Absolute Being humbles the proud and exalts the humble. We should recognize that whatever we have is from God, and we should lift the people around us by serving and praying for them.
Charity is the opposite of greed. It refers to providing our time, skills, money, and spiritual gifts to others, realizing that material possession is not important than God. We should not hoard things but be generous and give to the poor and underprivileged.
Chastity is the opposite of lust. It refers to guarding our hearts and minds against sexual fantasies and cravings. We should keep our minds occupied and not get sucked into the vortex of lust and sensuality. We should recognize that our bodies are temples of the Living God. Chastity can help calm our thoughts and restrain our wandering eyes.
Gratitude or kindness is the opposite of envy or jealousy. It refers to wishing the best for others and showing brotherly love. We should be always thankful to our Heavenly Father for what we have and what we do not have. We should treat everyone without bias and look upon our lives with positivity.
Temperance is the opposite of gluttony. It refers to taking all things in moderation and to the point of goodness. We should avoid eating and drinking in excess and control ourselves and our craving for food. We should not indulge in unrestrained gratification of our appetite or whims.
Patience is the opposite of wrath. We should act with meekness and mercy when faced with obstacles and resolve conflicts smoothly. We should moderate our emotions and take deep breaths before reacting to any situation. We should not get upset by trivial matters and control our fury and cultivate patience.
Diligence is the opposite of sloth. We should follow God’s will even if it means sacrificing our comforts and wants. We should follow a schedule and should not rest unnecessarily. We must fulfill our duties and foster a strong work ethic.
Bible Verses About the 7 Deadly Sins
Do you know these 7 Deadly Sins are forgivable by God through the blood of Jesus Christ? These 7 Deadly Sins will reserve our space in hell after our death unless we repent of our sins on this earth.
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