You and the church | Modern perception of sin

At different times some churches believed that there were seven deadly sins and, although penned almost 1400 years ago by Pope Gregory the Great, the Seven Deadly Sins still hold true for Christians today. Pope Gregory also threw in an accompanying and frightful punishment.

He ranked these sins in order of seriousness:

Pride: The excessive belief in one’s own abilities that interferes with one’s recognition of God. Envy: A desire for others traits, status, abilities, or situation. Wrath: Manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. Sloth: The “avoidance of physical or spiritual work” entered the list in the 17th century when the Catholic Church ditched sadness as a sin. Greed: A desire for material wealth or gain. Gluttony: An inordinate desire to consume anything more then that which one requires. Lust: An inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

A recent British survey rated 107 modern sins with the most despicable greed, murder, violence, jealousy, drug dealing, selfishness and dishonesty. Child abuse was No 8, promiscuity 9, adultery 12 and rape 15. 

Jesus tells us: “For it is within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly”  and he knew sin hurt a person’s own self as well as others.

Sin also caused people to alienate themselves from God, but Jesus came to show us how to deal with and heal our sins, through repentance and the forgiveness of God. We may not commit any of the Seven Deadly Sins, in a major way, and yet, we may very well, commit a lot of little sins, that add up.

It seems people believe sin is an outdated term but Christians understand sin as that which stops us from living in right relationship with God and neighbour. 

We should live in perpetual hope when it comes to our sin, because Christ allows us to face those parts of our nature that hold us back. God is always working with us, and shaping us, despite our sin.