“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
– Proverbs 6:16-19
Yes, the seven deadly sins are truly deadly for physicians.
It is essential to ponder on life and the need for repentance. In the process of saving lives, health care professionals may fall into traps that can lead to the inability to fulfill one’s full potential. The seven deadly sins are real – and we need divine intervention to triumph over their enticements.
If you want to grow both spiritually and in your chosen career, avoid these fatal transgressions:
1. Pride: “Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
An excessive belief in one’s own ability in the face of success is common among physicians. Never forget that a healer is just an instrument of God’s infinite kindness. Thank the Lord today for giving you the privilege to touch other people’s lives. Maintain your humility, and watch people flock towards you and provide you with your needs.
2. Envy : “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” (1 Peter 2:1-2)
There is nothing wrong with the desire to have what others have. But if this is accompanied with hope for the other person’s downfall or demise, it becomes sinful. Never be covetous. Being a professional, you already have more than what most people have. Show love to every patient and colleague you encounter each day.
3. Lust : “But now I tell you: Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
When you have so many things, you become more alluring to others. Bridle all your passions, and channel them to actions that are more constructive. It’s normal to be attracted to others, so practice self-control. You may lose your status just because of one little secret affair.
4. Wrath: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
Some doctors and nurses can be cruel at times. The inherent stress of the medical environment may lead to conflicts that spawn turmoil. Be patient and kind in the face of other people’s limitations. You were also ignorant and limited once upon a time.
5. Gluttony: “Drunkards and gluttons will be reduced to poverty. If all you do is eat and sleep, you will soon be wearing rags.” (Proverbs 23:21)
Want to spend your earnings in a casino while sipping a Dom Perignon? Want to have sponsored free dinner buffets everyday? While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to live it up, there’s something wrong with wanting to have so much more than what you actually need. Be more generous and donate your excesses to people who must have it.
6. Greed: “They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint.” (Ephesians 4:19)
Related to gluttony, greed has been the downfall of many. This is about more than money. It could signify taking undeserved credit or praise – hogging the limelight instead of others. It could also relate to doing good but expecting something in return. Greed is the longing to want something more than what is fair and just – including professional fees.
7. Sloth: “The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.” (Proverbs 15:19)
Health care is a lot of work. But it must be done. If one has the habit of passing on the job to others, remember that the commander still retains accountability and responsibility. Having the zeal to respond to valid orders is part and parcel of being a true professional.
Are you surprised that the seven deadly sins are also the seven deadly medical sins?