“We’re gluttons for infographics . . .” starts a fascinating result of a study by some clever folks at Kansas State. They’ve figured out a way to define the seven deadly sins with statistics that can be measured. I noticed how poorly the “Bible Belt” scored. Somehow the good theology isn’t translating into the “goodness” of the culture.
On a more personal level, I’m struck by how easy it is to rationalize sin. Gluttony? “We have to eat, don’t we?” Wrath? “It’s really righteous indignation!” At least it’s easy to justify my own sin. I’d be interested in some comments about your “confessions” and your attitudes toward those sins.
I’m also struck by how we (okay, how “I”) tend to normalize sin, like a little bit of it here and there keeps me from being too much of a boring goodie-two-shoes. Basically, we tend to sin whenever we assume that God does NOT want the best for us and that my ways of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain are for my ultimate good. Consider how many people react negatively to the Ten Commandments as though they deprive us from having a happy life. As I understand the Bible, every commandment was given for our good. This implies that every time we break any commandment, it will hurt us somehow, even if the impact is not immediately seen.
I think the Bible has a good solution to the problem of trying to avoid sin. Instead of just trying to avoid the myriad of ways we can be bad (immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissension, factions, envying , drunkenness, carousings, and things like these — Galatians 5:19-21), the Bible recommends that we pursue righteous living. It’s proactive. It challenges to grow up and do good. It keeps us dependent on the grace that Jesus has purchased for us because we can’t do it in our own strength.
My question is this: “Why is so hard for us to resist self-gratifications that are harmful to us instead of pursuing the good life?” Ideas? Enter your comments.