Historically speaking the Seven Deadly Sins are “pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth.” Some have said these sins are not mentioned in the Bible, but such a statement reveals an utter ignorance of what the Scriptures teach.
The first deadly sin on the list is pride. It is written, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate,” Proverbs 8:13. That is just one verse among many that denounce the sin of pride.
Pride accompanies every other sin because it takes prideful arrogance to disregard what God teaches us is right and wrong and then do as we please. Pride deceived Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, and led Adam to accept and eat it when it was offered to him.
Pride is what makes us think it is alright to rebel against the will of a holy God. I think it is appropriate that the LGBTQ community’s celebration of sexual sin this month is called, PRIDE.
Greed is the pursuit of wealth regardless of what it takes to attain the wealth. This makes wealth an idol. The possession of wealth is not a sin, but the pursuit of it becomes a sin when it becomes an obsession. “The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the treacherous will be caught by their own greed,” Proverbs 11:6.
Wrath is an uncontrolled anger reflecting man’s frustration with not getting what he wants. This is why the Scriptures teach us “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God,” James 1:20.
Envy is the cousin of covetousness that is forbidden by the Tenth Commandment, Exodus 20:17. When envy causes us to break one of the other commandments to take what belongs to another it is a sin. This is why Jesus lists it among other sins, “deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness,” Mark 7:22.
Lust is what drives the porn industry and we are warned “when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death,” James 1:15. James reminds us of why these are called “deadly sins.”
Gluttony is the sin of an uncontrolled appetite; it often leads to obesity and a host of self-inflicted medical conditions. This is not a reference to those who are overweight because of a health issue, but refers to the sin of over-indulgence. Solomon said, “Put a knife to your throat if you are a man of great appetite,” Proverbs 23:2, that is what you are doing when you overeat.
Sloth, the sin of indolence, is characterized in the Scriptures, “The sluggard [a lazy person] says, ‘There is a lion outside: I will be killed in the streets,’” Proverbs 22:13. The slothful person will make any silly excuse to get out of work, and the one who does not work is an unproductive, liability on the rest of the community.