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What Are the Seven Deadly Sins?

Updated on July 8, 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins -- also known as the Seven Vices or the Detestable Sins -- are the seven most heinous sins a Christian can commit. These are the venial sins, the ones for which any Christian must confess and pay penance before they can enter Heaven. The Seven Deadly Sins are counterparts to the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

1. Lust

Lust is an intense desire to or actually seeking “venereal satisfaction” outside of marriage (i.e., premarital sex or adultery), whether you or married or not, in a “manner… contrary to the laws that govern marital intercourse.” (See Matthew 5:28)

2. Gluttony

Gluttony is the act of partaking in anything beyond the limits of what you actually need. In most contexts, gluttony specifically refers to food and drink; overeating, overdrinking (particularly alcohol) and wasting food or drink are all considered acts of gluttony. A Christian is also guilty of gluttony for buying or taking more than they need; for example, purchasing designer clothes or buying three cars when only one is necessary are considered acts of gluttony. (See Proverbs 23:21).

3. Greed

Greed is the excessive, unrelenting need to engage in “sensual” activities. Greed does not only encompass the actual act of engaging in voracious behaviors, but also the feeling or lust to have or take more. Greed is closely tied to both gluttony and lust. (See Ephesians 4:19).

4. Sloth (Laziness)

Sloth -- better known as laziness -- is the act of avoiding exertion or activity, or not exerting enough effort to correctly perform an activity. A Christian can be guilty of laziness by willfully refraining from working, caring for their family, or doing household chores; for example, a husband who chooses to ignore his family and instead watch television for an entire day is guilty of being a sloth. Performing or engaging in an activity, but not doing so to the best of your ability, is also considered laziness; for example, going to work but purposely not doing your job the best that you can is laziness. (See Proverbs 15:19).

5. Wrath (Anger)

Wrath is strong, hateful, or spiteful anger or resentment. A Christian who acts out of anger and says hateful things, or who takes revenge against someone out of spite, is guilty of wrath. Instead, Christians should find forgiveness for the person who wronged them and let go of the anger and hate. (See Proverbs 15:1)

6. Envy

Envy is a strong feeling of jealousy or resentment for someone else, usually because that person has something that you want, but do not have. Christians should never feel jealousy for those around them, and instead feel appreciation for what they already do have. A Christian who acts of out jealousy is also guilty of envy. (See 1 Peter 2:1-2).

7. Pride

Pride, also known as vanity, is the act of being proud or vain. While there are certain things that you can and should take pride in -- such as your work -- boasting about your accomplishments are sinful. Further, taking pride in vain and pointless things, like your appearances, is also sinful. (See Proverbs 16:18).


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    • Captain Jimmy profile image

      Captain Jimmy 7 years ago from WV

      The most deadly SIN is unbelief.

      John 8:20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

      John 8:21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

      John 8:22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

      John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

      John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

    • profile image

      jasper420 7 years ago

      i never knew sloth was one of the deadly sins i guess i better get my lazy butt moving thanks alot great topic well said