Caleb Schrock Hurst – Horizon Guest Columnist
Let’s play a fun game! A) What are the Seven Deadly sins and B) which of them do we totally ignore in the modern world? They are as follows: Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, Greed, Sloth, and Pride.
And we ignore–ding ding ding–all of them.
In the US today, our culture literally supports every single action described as a deadly sin by the church. Lust is embraced as totally acceptable (my column on Title IX addresses this and issues around it if you are interested), Envy is encouraged as a means of motivation to get rich, Gluttony is so commonplace that we are the second most obese country in the world (dang it Mexico, you ruin everything), Wrath permeates the culture in the form of movies and videogames, Greed is the end goal of our society in that we are told to get rich at all costs, and Sloth is encouraged by our expectation to work to make money, not to actually make things that matter. And last but certainly not least is Pride.
Really, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, Greed, and Sloth can all be traced back to Pride. Each of the other sins is just another way to aspect of putting yourself above others, the very definition of pride. Its pretty simple: If we think we are more important than everyone else, we can rape, covet, feast, pillage, and nap our way through life without remorse. If we conquer pride and place others ahead of selfishness, the rest of the sins become far less appealing. If we begin valuing the input and humanity of others above ourselves and stop thinking about ourselves all the time living selfless, Christlike lives becomes a logical extension of who we are rather than an abstract, unreachable goal pedantically shouted at us from a pulpit.
Plot twist: This applies to our country as well as to ourselves.
It is clear that the American pitfall is pride. We place ourselves on a political and social pedestal above other nations, borrowing heavily and consistently but turning up our noses at advice. In addition, we rationalize our own mistakes, refusing to take responsibility for the blunders we have made.
It is time for the US, and its citizens, to admit to pride and begin learning from the rest of the world and the diverse perspectives they offer on literally every issue on the face of the earth.
It is time to step down from our self-appointed role as international czar and join the global community of nations trying to make the world a better place.
What would we be like as a nation if we conquered pride, our fatal flaw? We would be partners, not desperate leaders trying to hold onto scraps of power hung over from our glory days. We would stop trying to rule the world with economic sanctions and military action. We would look toward how we could improve the world and aid other countries holistically instead of frivolously arguing over whether other countries’ citizens should even be treated as humans.
And this badly needed change must begin with each one of us.
Until we as people begin combating pride in our own lives, we cannot even dream of conquering it on a country-wide scale. Take some time to listen to other people. Recognize the people who have set you up for success. Admit it when you need help and be gracious when you succeed.
And I have no doubt that when fighting pride we will also make great strides in fighting the other six deadly sins.
Caleb Schrock-Hurst is a Sophomore at Hesston College where he works as a Writing Assistant, Ministry Assistant, and Horizon contributor. He would like to study everything, but when forced to choose selected English, History, and Music. Outside of academics his main interests are tennis, Bernie Sanders’ political campaign, the global church, and Arsenal Football Club. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on campus if you wish to exchange verbal or physical blows. (Editor’s note: Caleb Schrock-Hurst’s opinions are not necessarily those of the Horizon staff or Hesston College.) (Author’s Note: I’m really proud to have earned a disclamer!)