A big thanks to Ben Witherington for noting that Wired Magazine has a report from Kansas State concerning how popular each of The Seven Deadly Sins are in various areas of the United States. Click the link and see where your area rates.
Initially, I was pleased to discover that our area ranks as almost “saintly” in the areas of envy, lust, and pride. I say initially, because I thought to myself, “If we’re saintly when it comes to those things, how bad off might other places be.” That thought is disturbing, because I don’t know that we’re truly saintly at all.
Comparison in such things often leads to the pitfall of thinking we’re okay because others are worse than us. Such is the case in an article in the Las Vegas Sun which states, “Turns out Nevada is unremarkable when compared with other states.” I read that as the writer saying, “Hey — maybe Sin City isn’t so sinful after all.” In one sense she could be right: We’re all sinful. In another sense, she could be making the same mistake many others make: “If God compares me to others, then, when it comes to heaven, I’m in like Flint!”
God doesn’t compare us to others. As I read the Bible, I see that he compares us to perfection. That would seem meanhearted, but knowing that all of us fall short of perfection, God’s sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our failure. In dying on the cross, Jesus died for those Seven Deadly Sins — and any others you and I can think of. As we turn from our sin and place our faith in him we find ourselves forgiven by him, made new, and able to live a different kind of life — one that’s a bit more saintly than it would have been without Christ.