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The Eighth Deadly Sin

The number of deadly sins is not fixed.
The Eighth Deadly Sin
Image: ThinkStock

As a young man, I remember reading that before there were Seven Deadly Sins, there were Eight.

In addition to the enemies of the soul called Envy, Wrath, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, and Pride, an eighth was considered an equal danger: Despond. This sin was an outlook of gloom and despair, chronic hopelessness, a sense of "what difference does it make?"

I don't recall exactly what happened back in medieval times to trim the Eight Deadlies to Seven — probably a sense that seven was a more perfect and memorable number. And keeping a sharp eye peeled for known spiritual dangers is an important part of maintaining soul health.

But I was forever struck with the idea that the list of deadly sins is not fixed.

Recently I've been talking with pastors about the Deadly Sins of Ministry. What are the prevailing temptations that are most likely to snare those in Christian ministry?

Certainly the Seven Deadlies apply to those in ministry. But in addition, what others have you seen? ...

May/June
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