Seven Virtues vs. Seven Sins

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Seven Virtues versus Seven Sins

Virtues are character strengths consistently applied to moral decision making. They show positive patterns of behavior. However, vices are negative patterns of behavior, often harmful to one’s self or others. The seven virtues are faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. The seven deadly sins are pride, envy, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed, and sloth. Practicing one virtue can protect one from the temptation to perform an act which is sinful.

Charity is love. It is devotion to others, which requires strength, effort, conviction and courage on our part. People who are generous and helpful to others don’t have many signs of envy; their charity protects them from it. Envy is the opposite of charity; it is the desire to have things that other people have, such as possessions, traits, and abilities. Charity, however, helps protect from envy, keeping one away from envious temptations.

Prudence is basically common sense. A prudent person thinks “What is the right thing for me to do?” rather than rushing in without thinking. A prudent person is protected from being prideful. Pride is extreme belief in one’s own abilities to the extent that it interferes with the recognition of the grace of god. Pride is the sin that other sins come from, because if you are prideful, you believe that what you are doing is the right thing, and you cannot be dissuaded from it.

Temperance is control; doing things in moderation, rather than allowing oneself to go to extremes. A temperate person does not overindulge himself. Gluttony is the opposite; it means to overindulge oneself. Gluttony can also be shown as selfishness, because a gluttonous person always wants more.

Faith is to be firmly attached to something or someone by love. A faithful person truly loves and commits to their partner. Lust is the opposite of faith. It is sexual craving and obsessive desire. Lust promotes the like that “this is all there is”. Lust blinds people and prevents them from seeing true love and commitment.

Fortitude is courage. It is when we are called on to stand up for what we believe is right, while going against the grain. Someone who has fortitude can bear something unpleasant rather than becoming irritated and wrathful. Wrath is anger; it is the opposite of fortitude. Wrath is in a person who rejects love, choosing anger instead.

Justice reminds us that all people deserve to have their basic needs met.

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