Does everybody know the seven deadly sins? They are sometimes called the cardinal sins. And if you don’t like the connotation of the word sin, let’s call them defects of character. Ok, here’s the countdown and they are not listed in order of severity. Each one of them can be deadly if allowed to run rampant.
I am entertaining envy today. No, it’s not related to materialism or physicality or status. I am envious as hell about those folks who can maintain an aloofness from the shenanigans being foisted on us as religion and politics. Yes, I am dead serious. If for just one day I could not hear the news, read the newspapers, and view the screens depicting another episode of name-calling in Washington, D.C., another horrible act of violence in Syria, or another Hollywood celebrity enmeshed in a tangle of sexual wantonness, then I might be content. If I could limit my social media time to nothing but wholesome, heart-warming stories of man’s goodness toward man, then I would be at peace.
Twenty-two years ago when I moved into this house in which I now live my next door neighbor was a saintly woman who had lived many years in the far country and, by the grace of her God, returned to marry a good man and raise a brood of decent kids. They were all skinny because she was a strict dietician, and they were all cheerful and kind-hearted. The woman read her Bible every day.
During an extremely active hurricane summer, we spoke to her about the imminence of an approaching hurricane. She knew nothing of it. “Oh no,” she chortled, “we don’t have a TV in the house and we only listen to Christian music on the radio and we don’t receive a newspaper.”
I’m sure she recognized the horror on our faces. Sweet lady, you are so out of touch. Don’t you realize the danger that could be approaching? Don’t you care about the world around you? What in the world will you do when calamity strikes?
Smiling sweetly, she responded to our unvoiced questions, “Jesus will take care of us.”
OMG! What faith!. She had been in the world, she knew the inherent dangers, she had lived life on the edge, and now she firmly believed that her Lord and Savior would protect her and her family. It did not matter if she was living in a fantasy existence because in her world she found contentment and peace. And maybe, just maybe, her fantasy reality is the truth we all envy and desire.
Yep, I am harboring envy today, but I know the fix. I often use an analogy of sobriety to make a point. There is a fine line between me, a committed sober-living man, and my brother, a man caught up in his alcoholism. One step across that line into his world and I have a slip, a relapse; one step across that line into my world and he has a recovery, a miracle.
Both our worlds are a reality, but that fine line which I call Jesus makes it a living hell or a blessed journey. Nah, there’s no place for envy on this journey. Now, if I could just get a handle on gluttony!“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”Psalms 51:10