1 ¶ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Romans 6:1,2 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
I’m going to let you in on a pastoral “trade secret.” When you’re studying in seminary, there are lots of lists of things to learn. So what do you do to manage all this holy information? Of course, you use a mnemonic device!
Suppose you need to be able to list “The Seven Deadly Sins” on the exam for your Historical Theology class. This is not daunting at all; you only need to think of the castaways on “Gilligan’s Island”— all of which are clearly linked to one of the besetting sins. Here’s the rundown:
1) The Skipper: That’s an easy one. Clearly he’s overcome by the sin of Anger. He’s always turning red and hollering at Gilligan while he hits him on the head with his hat.
2) The Millionaire, Thurston Howell, III: Clearly his prevailing fault is Greed. He thinks he can buy his way out of any situation. Why else would he have brought all of those suitcases of money on the three-hour cruise?
3) Lovey, the Millionaire’s wife: Her grievous failing is Sloth. She just lounges around and never does any work of any sort. And she always wears those gloves so that she doesn’t have to put her hands in the dishwater.
4) The Professor: He is clearly afflicted with Pride. He thinks he knows everything. So why can’t he take two clam shells and build a GPS tracking device?
5) Ginger: This red-haired bombshell is constantly overcome by Lust. Why else would she always be whispering and acting flirty around all the men so she can get them to do the things that she wants?
6) Mary Ann: You might think that this down-to-earth girl doesn’t have any faults. But this farm girl is consumed with the vice of Envy. She wants to be Ginger so badly she can’t see straight.
7) Gilligan: Even though he’s the skinniest, clearly his failing is Gluttony. Whenever Ginger and Mary Ann make coconut pies for everyone, he always steals them while they’re cooling and eats six of them. And then his stomach hurts because he’s such a glutton.
Now that you know the seven deadly sins, teach the list to your children. And while you’re at it, teach them that ALL sins (not just these seven) are deadly sins. Whenever we sin, it’s deadly to our souls and to our relationship with the living God. I’m not allowed to preach to the students I work with at school, but I have an adage that I try to impress upon them all: “You can’t do wrong and expect things to turn out right.” This week, let’s live in a manner that shows that God’s way is the best way, and teach this to those following in our footsteps.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 26 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 20) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher’s family likes all those old shows from back-in-the-day.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.