The Sin of Envy
This series, based on Will Willimon’s book Sinning Like a Christian, will explore “the seven deadly sins.” The 7 Deadly Sins are not directly ‘Biblical’ but as Jessica Miller Kelley puts it, they are “perhaps more incisive than the 10 Commandments in…their personalness.” Given that reality, it seems appropriate to engage, during Lent on a personal reflection of our brokenness.
So…what does it take for us to be able to ‘rejoice with those who rejoice?’ What makes it so hard for us to celebrate the goods and services that others receive?
ENVY…it is the emotional root of hatred. This morning we will look at how this sin is evident in our lives and how we might deal with it.
Envy is the emotional root and a subtle form of hate—resenting the good and rejoicing in the bad that occurs to one’s neighbor. It is a social sin, hurting our relationships (even to the point of murder, as in the case of Cain and Abel), and squelches joy in its tracks, as it maximizes others’ good fortune and minimizes the blessings we ourselves enjoy. Envy leads us to criticize others and to attribute others’ success to sheer luck, which makes us passive and (contrary to popular belief) unmotivated to work harder ourselves. A close cousin of Pride, Envy weighs and ranks and compares, making our neighbors into competitors, and our own blessings a prize to be boasted, rather than a gift to be shared.
Reading: Genesis 4:1-8, Mathew 20:1-16
The Sin of Anger
Anger is a natural response to knowing certain things and relationships and circumstances are NOT as they ought to be. Is it ever right to be angry? (Paul says, ‘Be angry, but do not sin.”) We will just touch the tip of the iceberg here! But hopefully this morning’s sermon will help deal with this emotion that can be very destructive.
The Sin of Greed
It is so hard in this day and time and in every age since…to know how much is enough. We are bombarded everyday and myriad ways with the message that all we need is just a little bit MORE! Many argue that HOW MUCH MORE is relative. Indeed it is…but does that justify our greed?
Jesus sure didn’t have or take much with him on his itinerant ministry. Should that matter much to us? This morning we will talk about how worry is related to greed…and our desire for more.
Readings: Matthew 6:19-24
The Sin of Gluttony
I love to eat and drink…all kinds of good things. So did Jesus! So much so, apparently, that he was called a glutton and a drunkard. Am I in good company or are there some things I need to learn about matters of flesh. The answer to both is YES!
The Sin of Lust
We humans are obsessed with sex. And if not obsessed with the having of it ourselves, we are obsessed with analyzing and critiquing others’ bedroom activities. The inclusion of Lust among the Seven reminds us of the relational impact of sin.
The Sin of Sloth
Sloth is NOT about laziness necessarily. It is about NOT CARING ABOUT THE THINGS OF GOD AND THE SPIRIT ENOUGH TO ENGAGE IN THE WORK AND WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH AND GROW IN AND WITH CHRIST!
The Sin of Pride
There is a very delicate balance between pride and arrogance. How can that balance be struck? Do you know ‘humble confidence’ when you feel it? We SEE it clearly in Jesus as he rides in Jerusalem. So how can we show it to others? The apostle Paul is very helpful on this level.