Tags

, , , ,

Below are lists and definitions of virtues that correspond to the “seven deadly sins.” I’m putting this list together as part of a plan for transformation for the men at Real Life Church who are undergoing Renovation. There is some overlap of course, but most of the virtues are defined in a way that counteracts the particular vice in question. Thoughts, additions, and clarifications are certainly welcome…

Pride

  • Humility: a conscious awareness of our complete dependence upon God and smallness compared to him; a willingness to serve anyone in any way – no matter how small, mundane, or socially degrading.
  • Faith: a trusting confidence in God’s ability and willingness to take care of us. Pride is rooted in a lack of faith: we don’t trust God so we take things into our own hands.
  • Compassion: attentiveness to the needs and hurts of other people; sympathy over people’s suffering and a desire to comfort the hurting. Whereas pride focuses on me and my awesomeness, compassion focuses on other people and their pain.
  • Sincerity: freedom from pretense or deceit; being just who you are and not acting or presenting yourself as if you were something more.

Envy

  • Contentment: being satisfied with our appearance, gifts, talents, relationships, status, possessions, and qualities; trusting that I am “enough” because I am who God made me to be.
  • Thankfulness: being appreciative to God and others for all the good things in our lives. The more grateful we are for what we have, the less we’ll focus on what we don’t have.
  • Joy: gladness of heart in spite of circumstances. Joy is rooted in faith: because God is God, ultimately I will be okay, and therefore I can rejoice and be glad.
  • Compassion: attentiveness to the needs and hurts of other people; sympathy over people’s suffering and a desire to comfort the hurting. We can’t see other people’s pain if we’re comparing ourselves to them.

Lust

  • Self-Control: the ability to restrain our impulses and govern our desires, rather than being enslaved to them; being able to stop when we need to stop and go when we need to go.
  • Faithfulness: being loyal and trustworthy even in situations where it would be easier to break trust. In this case we are ultimately being faithful to God’s standards for sexual expression. And for most of us, to our (present or future) wives as well.
  • Purity: being free from that which defiles good or mixes it with evil. In this case our habits of body and mind are pure from sinful expressions of our sexual desires.
  • Contentment: being satisfied with our appearance, gifts, talents, relationships, status, possessions, and qualities. We don’t need more (or better) than we currently have, because we have God.
  • Compassion: attentiveness to the needs and hurts of other people; sympathy over people’s suffering and a desire to comfort the hurting. Lust turns people into objects for our pleasure; compassion reminds us that people are people, people are hurting, and people don’t exist to bring us pleasure or happiness.

Sloth

  • Self-Control: the ability to restrain our impulses and govern our desires, rather than being enslaved to them; discipline. Whereas for other sins self-control is about being able to stop doing something, in this instance self-control is about being able to do what needs to be done.
  • Compassion: attentiveness to the needs and hurts of other people; sympathy over people’s suffering and a desire to comfort the hurting. Whereas sloth focuses on our own needs and comforts, compassion fastens our gaze on other people.
  • Faithfulness: being loyal and trustworthy even in situations where it would be easier to break trust. In this case we are being faithful to various tasks, responsibilities, and commitments.
  • Alertness: paying attention to what is going on around us; being watchful of what needs to be done and prompt in doing it.
  • Joy: gladness of heart in spite of circumstances. Sloth is traditionally related to sadness or even depression. Joy is rooted in faith: because God is God, ultimately I will be okay, and therefore I can rejoice and be glad.

Anger

  • Patience: the ability to wait through and endure difficult circumstances such as pain, trouble, delay, or annoyance; not rushing or demanding immediate results; literally “long-suffering” or the ability to suffer for a long time.
  • Gentleness: responding to all circumstances without hurrying or harshness, but rather with tenderness, controlled strength, tranquility; even-tempered; quietness and softness, but as a form of strength not weakness.
  • Grace: allowing people to be imperfect and yet still loving them; not treating harshly those who don’t meet our expectations or standards.
  • Forgiveness: releasing people in our hearts and minds from owing us something because of a wrong they’ve done to us; not holding a previous wrong over someone’s head; willingness to seek reconciliation when appropriate.
  • Self-Control: the ability to restrain our impulses and govern our desires, rather than being enslaved to them. Self-control stops us from expressing anger sinfully and enables us to allow anger to emerge properly.

Greed

  • Humility: a conscious awareness of our complete dependence upon God and smallness compared to him. In regard to greed, we tell ourselves “I deserve it” (whatever it is) because we have an inflated sense of our own self-importance. And since greed is very sneaky and none of us think we’re greedy, we need an extra dose of humility even to acknowledge it.
  • Generosity: readiness to give freely of your time, goods, or money to people in need without expecting anything in return. If greed can be symbolized by tightly closed fists, generosity is open and outstretched hands ready to offer anything to help.
  • Faith: a trusting confidence in God’s ability and willingness to take care of us. Greed is about us grasping what we think we need to survive or live well; we don’t trust God to provide for us so we take things into our own hands.
  • Hope: thinking about the present life in the light of eternity; having an eternal perspective that minimizes the uber-importance of what we have here and now.
  • Contentment: being satisfied with our appearance, gifts, talents, relationships, status, possessions, and qualities. We don’t need more (or better) than we currently have, because we have God. Closely related to contentment is simplicity, which means not needing very much to be content. Live simply; minimize luxury and excess.
  • Compassion: attentiveness to the needs and hurts of other people; sympathy over people’s suffering and a desire to comfort the hurting. Our greed compels us to respond harshly to the poor and needy, often blaming them for the mess they’re in. Compassion doesn’t ask how someone got in a mess, but how to be present with them and how to get them out of it.

Gluttony

  • Self-Control: the ability to restrain our impulses and govern our desires, rather than being enslaved to them; being able to stop when we need to stop and go when we need to go.
  • Purity: being free from that which defiles good or mixes it with evil. In this case our bodies are kept pure from excessive amounts of destructive junk.
  • Contentment: being satisfied with just enough. We don’t need more (or better) than we currently have, because we have God.
  • Faithfulness: being loyal and trustworthy stewards of the body God has given us; seeing our bodies as gifts to be used for God rather than objets to be used for pleasure.
Advertisements