The list of violations we know today as the Seven Deadly Sins is believed to have been compiled in the first few centuries after the death of Jesus. But these sins continue to be alive and well in workplaces around the world.

From anger, to envy, to greed, and even sloth, we can get tripped up by the Seven Deadly Sins in the office and on the shop floor.

Pride – As Al Pacino’s character said in The Devil’s Advocate, “…It’s my favorite sin.” It’s the one that gets us in the most trouble and is interwoven with all the others. It’s our efforts to soothe, stroke, and magnify our ego that drive us to believe that we’re really the center of the universe and that it’s really all about us. It’s not. It’s about God.

Anger – Jesus never asked us to not get angry. He told us that when we get angry “with cause” we should talk to “our brother” to resolve the problem. We can easily find a cause to justify our anger. When we do lose our temper we often choose to ignore the person, talk about them, or retaliate with passive / aggressive behavior rather than talk out our issue and solve the problem.

Envy – We envy the money, positions, and power of others. It’s so easy to get caught up in this earthly existence and compare what others have to what we have. When we envy others we’re telling God that we don’t appreciate what He’s given us and we lose focus on what should really be the center of our joy: Our heavenly Father.

Gluttony – Workaholism is gluttony in the workplace. By constantly trying to fill ourselves up with work, and by overloading our plate with tasks and projects, we attempt to fill a void in our hearts that can only be filled with the healing power of God’s love. It’s time we asked ourselves why we continue to work more when we seem to enjoy it less all the time.

Greed – We live in a state of abundance that’s amazing and take it all for granted. Whether we demonstrate greed for money, for “face-time” with the boss, or for a bigger kingdom to manage, it’s easy to get caught up in this quicksand of always wanting more. Remember Jesus’ admonition that “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Lust – We lust for power; we lust for sexual contact; and we lust for things. Lust is the emotion of desire taken to the extreme. While there’s nothing wrong with the desire we have for our spouse or the desire to improve ourselves and grow in our career, we must remain vigilant that those desires don’t become the focus of our lives. That’s the spot reserved for God.

Sloth – When we accepted our jobs we agreed to put our employer’s objectives ahead of our own business objectives. Our employer pays us the wages we accepted and in exchange, we agreed to give our all to the tasks asked of us. When we don’t do that, we demonstrate sloth at work. We can rationalize and make excuses all we want, but that’s not living up to our end of the bargain.

Being Christians 24-hours a day means we’re supposed to live our faith every moment of every day. We spend more time at work than we do with our families. The workplace is where our faith is tested most and where we have to work the hardest to align our behavior with our spiritual beliefs. As Christians, we are to reflect the light of Christ in our words and actions no matter where we are.

Even at work.

Author's Bio: 

Career and Business Strategist Winnie Anderson writes The Mustard Seed, the twice-monthly newsletter that provides information, tips, and resources to help you align your faith with your worklife. Get a free chapter to her book, "Faith From 9 to 5: How to Overcome the Seven Deadly Sins and Live Your Faith at Work" when you subscribe at Live My Faith at Work.