10 Commandments vs. 7 deadly sins
My beautiful bride posed the question to me “What are the 7 deadly sins and how do they coincide with the bible’s 10 commandments?” This is a very good question and I have never seen the two lined up against each other. I’ve seen the Brad Pitt movie “Se7en”, I’ve looked up the 7 deadly sins a few times and even worked with a hip hop artist who wanted to put together a mixtape with the title of each song, each sin. So I’ve got some grasp of what they are, but I am going to provide further research to be as accurate and compelling as possible. I’ve been a sinner my whole life and having Jesus Christ in my heart has made me a new creature. I still sin, but I try each day to do better and I know when I repent, I am washed clean of those sins. Praise God for the opportunity of everlasting life because He sent his Son to die on the cross for me and for you. One thing I want to point out is that the 10 commandments are very valid, but Jesus came and said there are 2 Commandments (Matthew 22:34-40) and they are to love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. That’s basically the 10 commandments paraphrased. If you love God with all of you, you will not have false idols or any Gods before Him, you will honor your mother and father and you won’t kill, steal from or lie to your neighbors or cheat on your wife. Another thing I know, is it is all a heart issue. We as humans who have fallen want to be a machine that runs on ourselves but the only way to be an effective machine is to let Christ be the fuel. Knowing that, if we don’t have Christ in our heart and we are rebellious, we may not do any of these sins, but often times we think of them. Thinking angry thoughts about the person cutting you off in traffic is a sin, but forgiving them and praying for them after they flip you off shows where your heart is. Another great place to learn from on behavior and heart issues is the chapter on the fruits of the Spirit and the ways of the flesh found in Galatians 5:22.
In the next section I will put the 10 commandments in the most simple form. It says that these 7 deadly sins that will follow after the commandments are those transgressions which are fatal to spiritual growth, which we will discuss later.
The ten commandments are written twice in the book. It says that Moses went up on a mountain and God blessed him with these 10 things. They are listed in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:4-2. To break them down and put them in simple terms, i will list them here.
- God is our only God and we shall have no other God but Him.
- Do not bring any false idols before Him
- Do not take His name in vain
- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
- Honor your mom and dad
- Do not murder or kill
- Do not commit adultery
- Do not steal
- Do not bear false witness against your neighbor (lie)
- Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, or anything that belongs to your neighbor (jealousy)
7 Deadly Sins
Both are lists that use words that we don’t use in everyday conversations, so I will try to break it down a little bit better. On the flip side of these sins are listed different virtues, like the cardinal virtues, theological virtues, contrary virtues, and heavenly virtues which are said to protect one from falling to sin. All throughout the Bible and throughout the history of the world there are too many examples of people falling into sin, especially great men. Starting with Adam and including so many who were doing great works, but even better there is story after story of resurrection. I think that is the greatest part of this unwritten story, this story that is unfinished. We are in a fallen world full of fallen people and with the right knowledge and with wisdom from the Holy Spirit and being on fire for Jesus, we will see so many more stories of resurrection, where our loved ones will go from being dead, to being alive in Christ! The end is near and we literally must save every person we can so they will not suffer for eternity.
Now let us get into breaking this down and understanding how these sins fall into place with the commandments.
Many of them are literally just putting something before God. That list includes Pride, Gluttony, and Greed. That’s almost half the list!
Ok, so pride can be seen in two different lights. It can be a good thing, but when taken too far it’s a DEADLY sin. Meaning that it can consume you and be fatal to your spiritual growth. The reason I say two ways, is that you can have such a low self esteem and that is a lack of pride. Or you could be like Kanye West and have too much pride. Knowing God made us in His image and Jesus told us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, it’s a sin to be down on yourself and have a low self esteem, right? We need to love ourselves, but not love ourselves more than we love God or more than we love our neighbor!
Envy is defined in the dictionary as “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.” Looking at the ten commandments this goes right at number 10. God told Moses to write down “do not covet your neighbor’s wife, or anything else of his.” And a lot of times in this world, we see people doing this in many ways. We see our coworker get a promotion or raise and we are envious, jealous, upset. That’s coveting! We see our family at church get a big blessing or God giving them a vision and we get jealous or envious that we didn’t get a blessing like that! We see our sibling get a new bike and we didn’t get one and it hurts. That’s probably a normal human feeling, but we are taught not to be like the world. Our own blessings are coming. God has a different plan for us. Please, don’t fall into the spiritual trap of envy because it is fatal for your spiritual growth. Be thankful for everything you have and you’re certain to be given more. One line I love is being faithful in the small you’ll be trusted with the bigger things. Often times, this time on Earth is only a short period of time where we are given chances to prove ourselves in eternity in Heaven. Forever is a long time and envy isn’t something you want to fall into!
This sin is not just about food. We can be gluttonous with anything. I know people who are on their phone 25 hours a day (me, unfortunately and I’m working on it) and people who play video games like it’s their job. I know people who are gluttonous with sports, television shows (netflix binging?) and lots of other things. It is not only pertaining to food. When we act gluttonous, we are putting something else before God, which is going against the first and second commandment and the most important commandment Jesus told us to obey. Are we really loving God with all of our heart, mind, and soul if we are spending so much time focused on something else?
This is probably the single most deadly sin in our culture right now for men. This goes against the commandment on adultery if you are married and the commandment on coveting after your neighbor’s wife (or husband) if you are thinking about sex with someone you are not married with. The opposite of lust is GRATITUDE!!! If we remind ourselves how grateful we are of our spouse then you won’t give into lust. I had mentioned how most sin is a heart issue. Many of us may not physically act out in lust. The world is filled with sexual advertising and both sexes dressing and acting more and more scandalous everyday and it is tough. But if we remember how grateful we are for our partner, we will not covet after our neighbors wife who is watering her flowers in short shorts. We won’t even look over there because we are more focused on God and the second greatest gift He gave us. If you’re single, I encourage you to fight lust by remembering how special it will be to save yourself for your husband or wife someday and how big of a difference it will be demanding sex wait until marriage. You may lose a lot of partners, but at least you will know when the time comes, you will have the right one and it will be a biblical marriage where you both REALLY know each other and that sex together will be the greatest sex you could ever have.
This is another of the most common deadly sins we have right now. I see so much anger in the world, especially with the elections and the issues between police and BLM. I think it’s ok to feel a little anger, or to get frustrated. That cultivates change and growth. But anything taken too far is terrible and when you let anger consume you, it is a sin that is fatal to your spiritual growth. This is another subject where understanding the ways of the flesh and fruits of the Spirit will be very helpful, so please read Galatians 5 and study Jesus and others in the Bible as well as Abe Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. to see examples of how to channel that anger into productivity and to keep your focus on God. Anger is a deadly sin that goes against a few commandments. We may not actually murder or kill somebody, but thinking angry thoughts towards a person is basically murdering them! It’s a heart issue. As teenagers and beyond we often times get angry with our parents, but God tells us to honor them! Even if they abuse you or do terrible things, we are still supposed to honor them! How? You most certainly shouldn’t have to suffer the abuse. Honoring your parents could come in the form of prayers and helping them seek God. Don’t be like the world. Focus on God. If you be that difference and honor your parents, always, then your kids will do the same for you.
Greed is another very rampant sin we are witnessing in this world. I oftentimes hear people tell me I am greedy. I tell them and myself that is their heart issue, not mine because I know where my focus is. You can be successful and still love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. But you can’t focus solely on possessions and money and say you’re not sinning. I want to be free from my job so I don’t have to be spending 60 hours a week chasing after a paycheck. I want to be completely financially free and lived a principal based life so I don’t have to think about money and I can spend more time in my bible study, prayer life, and serving – like I am doing now! So what is greed? Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. So when we are falling into the sin of greed, we are putting something before God and worshipping a false God. Money is a great tool for serving your purpose that God created you for, but it’s a terrible God that will let you down every time. Make money your slave, not your master so you can focus on strengthening your spiritual life.
This is probably the most confusing deadly sin for me. I am a phlegmatic, so I really like to just chill. But that isn’t the sinful part. Being slothful is choosing to not grow your spiritual knowledge, choosing not to pray. I remember reading in the bible about how every man has to work if he deserves to eat. If you don’t work, you don’t deserve a hand out! Choosing to be lazy is slothful. You can be slothful in mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states. Our greatest purpose on this earth is the Great Commision. We are called to spread the good news to all ends of the Earth. If you choose to keep that a secret for yourself, you’re being slothful, lazy and that’s so very wrong because all of our neighbors need to learn about Jesus so they too can have the gift of eternal life. Unlike the other capital sins, which are sins of committing immorality, sloth is a sin of omitting responsibilities. A great way to put this: idle hands do the devil’s work. Don’t do the devil’s work!
Do the work Jesus called us to.
I hope this helped you as much as it has helped me understand these two lists.
Thanks for reading and God bless!
If you’re interested in learning more about discipleship, don’t hesitate to contact me or find somebody that can help you.