You're less sinful than the average person. Still, everyone has their weaknesses, and the sin you're most guilty of is
In this context, Pride is defined by an exaggeration of your worth and power in an attempt to feel superior to others. Pride can lead you down the wrong path when you feel like you have to be the best at everything. This kind of compulsion to achieve can get in the way of your ability to connect respectfully and equally with others.
Historically, Pride has been seen as the worst of all the deadly sins, as it is believed to lead to all other sins and to recklessly cruel behavior. In a religious context, Pride was originally cast as the human attempt at godliness. People were supposed to be humbled by their mortality: But being prideful was seen as the ultimate denial that humanity was at the mercy of God.
Modern-day psychology, though, also recognizes the benefit of possessing a certain degree of Pride. In this light, Pride in this regard, is akin to self-respect. Taking Pride in a job well-done and a life well-lived is generally considered to be healthy. This view of Pride evolved, in part, due to the cultural shift in the Western world from being purely God-centered to being more focused on individual achievement and actualization.
Contemporary theologians continue to debate these multifaceted opinions about Pride, its merits and pitfalls. And even today, many people feel personally conflicted about how much Pride is a good thing. This conflict is largely because modern popular thought still tends to see arrogance and boastfulness as negative components of pride. And because of this many people teeter between wanting to bolster their self-esteem through Pride while still remaining modest.
Despite all of these philosophical ambiguities, though, your particularly high score on Pride indicates that you may be falling into the trap of believing (whether you recognize it or not) you're invincible and unequaled in talent. If you aren't careful, your drive to excel at all costs may ultimately be your downfall, possibly leading to mental anguish and isolation. Beware of prioritizing your achievements and talents above all else. And especially be wary of using them as a way to feel separate from, and superior to, others.
Excessive pride can actually be a detriment both to your self-esteem and to your relationships. If your pride drives you to treat loved ones or subordinates poorly, this can chip away at your connections connections you ultimately need and want, and undermine your humanity. And if your expectations of yourself are so unrealistically high that you're never pleased with yourself or others (you're only human, after all), you will likely find yourself chronically dissatisfied with life. The Pride section of "The Seven Deadly Sins and You" reveals which Antidote you can use to help yourself achieve a healthier, more satisfying balance to this aspect of your life.
The 7 Deadly Sins and You
While your deadliest sin is certainly the one to address first, you're not completely off the hook for the remaining six sins. In this section, you'll find out how you scored on each sin, discover how these sins have been viewed throughout the centuries, and find out which virtues you can cultivate to temper your historically "sinful" ways.
Pride is the exaggeration of your worth and power in an attempt to feel superior to others. It causes you to feel like you have to be the best at everything, which can get in the way of your ability to connect respectfully and equally with others.
The sin of Pride has been condemned in various cultures throughout history. For example:
You scored 7 on the deadly sin of Pride. This means you're
more tempted by this sin than the majority of other test takers. Your relatively high score indicates that you feel a strong pull toward this deadly sin, and that it can sometimes get the best of you. Your higher score on Pride indicates that you may be falling into the trap of believing you're invincible and unequaled in talent, and this can lead to trouble. In order to keep your temptation in check, you may want to balance Pride with its antidote: Humility.
Humility as the Antidote to Pride
Because it's often difficult to spot your own arrogance, even if others are trying to point it out, it can be especially helpful to be proactive in addressing your Pride. Sometimes the universe takes care of this for you, by subjecting you to a humbling experience such as loss, illness, or pain in order to remind you of your mortality.
Still, traditional religious thought has always advocated fostering a certain degree of humility. While humility has been underrated by modern thought, equated with low self-esteem or feelings of inferiority, being humble does not necessarily have to take on these negative connotations. Here are some ways you can foster healthy humility:
Greed is the drive to accumulate wealth and to live a life of excess. It causes you to prioritize worldly possessions above all else and allow the pursuit of money to overshadow your personal relationships.
The sin of Greed has been denounced throughout history. For example:
You scored 5 on the deadly sin of Greed, which indicates that
less enticed by this sin than most test takers. Your lower score is a sign that Greed rarely overpowers your more altruistic impulses. Because you don't value wealth and luxury above all else, it's unlikely that the pursuit of money is diminishing your satisfaction in your current life, as it does for so many. In order to continue avoiding excess Greed, you may want to keep in mind its antidote: Generosity.
Generosity as the Antidote to Greed
Excessive Greed can negatively impact you, but it also hurts others. If you hoard more than your fair share of the world's finite resources, you are necessarily causing someone else to experience poverty or lack. The Tickle Research Group found that people who score highly on Greed tend to admit to having low levels of generosity, which has been traditionally thought of as the antidote to Greed. Thus, cultivating a generous attitude and sharing your good fortunes with those less fortunate can both help others and remind you that you are interconnected to the well-being of your fellow humans.
Here are some ways you can develop a healthy level of Generosity:
Lust is the unrestrained, insatiable expression of sexual desire, fantasy, and conquest. In the extreme, it can cause you to think about or pursue sex so much that your work life, you relationships, and your self-actualization suffer.
Lust is a sin that has been advised against throughout time. For example:
You scored 5 on the deadly sin of Lust, which indicates that
this sin tempts you less than it does the average test taker. Your low score demonstrates that you likely have the ability to use reason and good judgment in your sex life. You've probably achieved a reasonable balance between sexual expression and connecting nonsexually with others. If ever you feel the temptation of unwise Lust, though, you may want to consider applying the antidote to Lust: Temperance.
Temperance is the Antidote to Lust
Temperance, self-control, discretion, and caution are all useful methods of keeping lust in check and making sure your expression of sexual desire is healthy and ethical. The Tickle Research Group found that people who score highly on Lust tend to admit to having low levels of sexual caution. Historically, chastity is viewed as the antidote to Lust. While modern approaches to physical pleasure are generally more liberal, applying self-control around sex is one way to keep your lust in check.
Following are three things you can do to achieve sexual temperance:
Envy is the obsession with the good fortune of others in comparison to your own life. It is commonly experienced as a feeling of anguish when others have a higher social status, greater wealth, more power or success, or superior talent or physical beauty and this emotion starts to dominate your existence.
Envy is a sin that has been warned against throughout human history. For example:
You scored 5 on the deadly sin of Envy, which indicates that
you feel more tempted by this sin than the average test taker. Your higher score means that you may be focusing too much on what others have, and at the same time too much on what you don't have. If you find that your envy is taking the pleasure out of life and getting in the way of connecting in a friendly and open way toward those in your life, you may want to consider fostering the antidote to Gluttony: Gratitude.
Gratitude as an Antidote to Envy
Being grateful for what we have in life and appreciating the kindnesses of others are crucial combatants of rampant Envy. The Tickle Research Group found that people who score highly on Envy tend to admit to having low levels of Gratitude. Following are three ways to help develop a healthy, gracious attitude toward life:
Wrath is the inability to control your temper and the destructive expression of your anger toward others. At its worst, a tendency toward excessive Wrath can lead you to get angry quickly and easily, causing difficulty in refraining verbal attacking or physical abusing the object of your rage.
The sin of Wrath has been warned against throughout time. For example:
You scored 3 on the deadly sin of Wrath, which indicates that
this sin is less of a problem for you than it is for the average test taker. Your low score demonstrates that Wrath is generally not negatively impacting your emotional state or your relationship with others. If at times, though, you find that your anger is creeping up in intensity, you may want to consider applying the antidote to Wrath: Forgiveness.
Forgiveness as an Antidote to Wrath
When you are in the grips of anger, it can be difficult to have perspective on a situation, and this allows the people involved to control your emotional state and responses. While forgiveness can seem to some like a relinquishing of control, in actuality it can allow you to release resentments and free yourself from chronic negative feelings, which can in turn refresh your outlook on life and allow you to focus your energies on something other than anger and resentment. The Tickle Research Group found that people who score highly on Wrath tend to admit to having low levels of Forgiveness. Following are three things you can do to achieve greater forgiveness:
Gluttony is the inability to control how much food and drink you indulge in on a regular basis. It is commonly associated with eating until you're stuffed, uncomfortable, nauseated, or unhealthily unfit or obese.
Gluttony is a sin that has been condemned throughout the ages. For example:
You scored 3 on the deadly sin of Gluttony, which means that
you feel less of an allure toward this sin than the average test taker does. Your lower score is a sign that overindulging is likely a rare or nonexistent occurrence for you, rather than an unhealthy habit. Still, some people find certain times of the year such as the winter holidays or special occasions a particularly difficult time to avoid gluttonous behavior. If you ever feel tempted to overeat or drink excessively, you may want to consider applying the antidote to Gluttony: Restraint.
Restraint as an Antidote to Gluttony
Restraint, moderation, self-control. These are the qualities that best help to curb chronic overeating or other unhealthy relationships to food and drink. The Tickle Research Group found that people who score highly on Gluttony tend to admit to having low levels of self-control. Following are three ways to help develop a healthy balance between good health and healthy pleasure from food and drink:
Sloth is the resounding lack of motivation that leads to procrastination, irresponsibility, and disengagement from life. It manifests as a lack of goals or direction in life, and the inability to pursue the things you want, as well as things that can enhance the greater good of the world.
Sloth is a sin that has been warned against throughout time. For example:
You scored 3 on the deadly sin of Sloth, which is a sign that
you possess more life inertia than the average test taker. Your low score on Sloth suggests you've managed to find some meaning and keep active in your life. There might still be short periods in your life, though, when it feels harder to focus or get started. If ever this is the case, try taking steps toward Sloth's antidote: Enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm as the Antidote to Sloth
Neglecting to make good use of your body, your mind, and your spirit is the highway to Sloth. The Tickle Research Group found that people who score highly on Sloth tend to admit to having low levels of enthusiasm; enthusiasm is perhaps the most rewarding route to diligence, which is historically viewed as the antidote to Sloth. Thus, fostering enthusiasm and a positive attitude can help get you off the couch and back into the thrust of life.
Here are some ways you can develop a healthy level of enthusiasm:
Legendary Punishment for the 7 Deadly Sins
Religious thought has it that in ancient times, each of the seven deadly sins was thought to have a specific, corresponding punishment in Hell. They are as follows:
The prideful person was broken on the wheel.
The greedy person was soaked in boiling oil.
The slothful person was thrown into a pit of snakes.
The lustful person was smothered in fire and brimstone.
The wrathful person was dismembered alive.
The gluttonous person was force-fed rats, toads, and snakes.
The envious person was put in freezing water.
The antidotes above provide you with a good alternative to these punishments. So use this modern take on an age-old approach not to think of yourself as particularly sinful, but to really reflect on how you can better your life and become happier.
History Behind the Test
In the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great was the first to describe the seven deadly sins. He ranked them as follows (from the most serious to the least): pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and, finally, lust. While later theologians balked at the idea of ranking sins in this way, Pope Gregory determined the position of each sin based on how much of an obstacle it poses to love.
Tickle conducted its own study of the seven deadly sins and their antidotes by administering a survey taken by over 1500 people. Through a statistical data analysis, Tickle created 7 dimensions that captured the essence of each sin and compared these dimensions with an individual's self-reported levels of each sin and its corresponding virtue. The results of this study, paired with religious historical approaches and contemporary psychological viewpoints on the subject, are the basis for this report.
For Further Reading
Fairlie, Henry. The Seven Deadly Sins Today. (University of Notre Dame Press), 1979.
Lehner, Ernst, and Lehner, Johanna. Picture Book of Devils, Demons, and Witchcraft. (Dover Publications), 1972.
Oosterhuis, Huub. The Workbook on the Seven Deadly Sins. (Upper Room Books), 1995.
Panati, Charles. The Sacred Origins of Profound Things. (Penguin), 1986.
Schimmel, Solomon. The Seven Deadly Sins: Jewish, Christian, and Classical Reflections on Human Psychology. (Oxford University Press), 1997.
Stalker, James. The Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Cardinal Virtues. Navpress Publishing Group), 1998.
Wilson, Angus. The Seven Deadly Sins: Common Reader Edition. (Trafalgar Square Publishing), 2002.
Post a comment in response:
|© 2002-2008. Blurty Journal. All rights reserved.|