For some reason -or maybe no real reason- we think of some sins as worse than others. As an evolving species we have placed many meanings on sin that simply do not make sense. For now, I’m using sin to mean those things we do, feel or think that are hurtful.

Twelve is a cool symbolic number, so I stopped there when making my list of sins that can master us in ways that are hurtful. This dirty dozen tends to destroy relationships and thus can be called deadly (as in thanatos, see previous blog).

The first seven are famous as the seven deadly sins: anger, apathy, envy, gluttony, greed, lust and pride. These things can make great servants but are destructive masters.

Personally, I add five more: fear, shame, guilt, despair and bitterness. I’m not sure a church could approve elevating these to the status of deadly sins because the Church is so often guilty of using these to control its members. Nevertheless, they are destructive.

The first seven tend to dehumanize others and elevate self. The last five dehumanize self. They all can master us and keep us from healthy relationships.

We can’t get rid of this dirty dozen because at some level they are each part of who we are as human beings. Cleaned up they can actually serve to make stronger, healthier bonds.

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