Monday, February 18, 2008

A Discussion of a Deadly Sin

Where you live might determine your favored deadly sin. At least according to this troubling article in Forbes magazine.

More disconcerting to me is the 'fun' attitude with which they give grizzly statistics showing our decline into the abyss. The first line of the article is just so panache; ...the city that has fallen farthest from grace. If only it were so comical dude...

But what is fueling this post is that although not found in any cohesive form in the Bible, the seven deadly sins were a common concept among the early church, being firmly planted in the heads of believers by many great Renaissance writers and painters and the established Roman Catholic Church. Most notably is Dante's references in his classic Divine Comedy.

I like the painting above. It is from Hieronymus Bosch (pronounced like 'boss') an obscure Dutch/Netherland painter who lived during the late 1400's and early 1500's. His work, at the time, was very new and original, imaginative, and very symbolic. He often used half human images and demons to convey man's fallen state.

The snippet above is actually part of a larger painting. It depicts one portion or 'plate' of the seven deadly sins... a very good symbolic gesture... don't you think? We, as humans, crushed from perfection and bonded to our fallen state, are unable to see the rot before us. Satan serves up the plate and it looks divine. It is set out before us every day and we are faced with our desire to consume. We are apt to dine from this bountiful platter with side dishes of greed, or envy, or lust. Our flesh cries out to be satisfied; to be fed, and it only through grace we overcome our daily portion. For this... today, I thank thee, Lord...

One thing I found fascinating about the seven deadly sins is about sloth. See, it's easy to describe lust and it's trappings, and avarice, or gluttony, but what of sloth? What does that mean, exactly? And what of its spiral staircase? Where does it lead?

Early church fathers defined sloth not as excessive laziness, or slowness, or obesity, which is what we generally associate with the word today. Instead, it was used to describe someone who was 'less than joyful'. Sadness, depression, apathy... joy less ness. Uneasy and disquieted with their present position and squandering of their God-given talents. It came to be known by the early middle ages as acedia, which was failure to (shema) love the Lord with all of your mind, body, and soul. To be sad at the world YHWH created, and the circumstances of life, and to keep oneself from enjoying it, and Him. How many folks today are like this... without joy? And wasting their talents. This is something that YHWH has been leading me in my own journey as of late...

Remember this today...that is one of the chief reasons... well, THE reason we were created. What is the chief and highest end of man? To glorify Him... AND...

To enjoy Him... forever.....

How can you enjoy the Lord today...even when the rest of the world is dining from the plates?

Eat of the bread of life....and be satisfied... go out and seek Him... dwell... and be delighted.


Shalom,
Carla Lynne

5 comments:

Holly said...

THIS speaks to me, very directly, Carla Lynne.

I have purposefully (led by the Father) eschewed sloth (as defined by the early church fathers) and chosen joy of late. It is good. It is right! The heart follows the feet. :)

Carla Lynne Klimuk said...

yes, Holly, I agree...it is good... it IS right...

Yeshua Ha'Mashiach... my joy...

Joyce said...

Thank you for this post, how thought provoking for me.
I enjoyed your blog, it was a breath of fresh air for me today!

Trixi said...

Beautiful site. Beautiful music.

This post is excellent and spoke straight to my heart. I have probably fallen in to some of these traps, as of late. Thank you for bringing them to the forefront. The blessing is that I know that just going to the Father can get me out.
Blessings,
Trixi

Nobody said...

Thanks for this thoughtful post. I know you wrote it a month ago, and it has probably dropped into the far reaches of your busy brain. But isn't that the beauty of the internet? That yesterday I could click from here, to here, to here...and find a thought to chew on? And then in my rumination, share it with my dear husband, who chewed on it for hours, and said, as he crawled weary into bed, that it was a word for him where he was right now?

Keep writing. I am one of the many who read, and one of the few who come back to leave a comment. What I mean to say is that the word God gives us spreads much further than we know...especially in this age of technology. Much thanks.