Good Friday morning ...
We've all heard of the seven deadly sins (anger/hatred, jealousy, excess, greed, lust, vanity and laziness). But have you ever heard of rating the states according to these seven deadlies?
Well, now you have!
According to WalletHub.com, 47 indicators of vice correlating to the seven deadly sins were measured and found that some states are more sinful than others. It would appear that Las Vegas may be aptly named because it elevated Nevada to the top of the list of most sinful states.
I'm surprised that they even made such a ranking! But, hey, people have lots of time to analyze most anything ... especially if it really doesn't matter anyway.
According to the website these are the most sinful states: Nevada, Texas, Florida, California, Georgia, Tennessee and Louisiana. Nevada scores number one on greed and is high on jealousy and lust (go figure), Texas is number one in lust, California scores high in lust and vanity and Florida scores high in jealousy and vanity.
The six least sinful states are Vermont, Wyoming, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire and South Dakota. Perhaps their low level of sinfulness has to do with lots of time required for shoveling snow that keeps their minds from breaking the Ten Commandments.
In making their evaluations, the website used various metrics: violent crimes per capita, thefts and fraud per capita, excessive drinking and obesity per capita, gambling disorders per capita, number of casinos, amount of time spent on porn sites, number of prostitution arrests, number of beauty salons and plastic surgery centers, daily time watching TV, percentage of adults exercising, and the like. That's a lot of data gathering and sifting and analyzing.
It doesn't matter. Not really. The truth is EVERY state is a sinful state because EVERY resident of EVERY state is a sinner ... and a BIG one at that! That makes for a sinful place. And according to God's Word, sin is a serious, deadly business, not to be taken lightly.
Sin is rampant in EVERY state. It's EVERYWHERE! You can't avoid it; you can't escape it; you can't get around it. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" [Romans 3:23]. The statement is short and to the point. Everyone sins. Everyone is a sinner. There is no one who has not sinned. The most moral of humans and the most perverse of humans wear the same label: SINNER.
There is but one exception. His name is Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit. He is the Son of God, the God-man, the Second Person of the Trinity, God in the flesh. He came to this earth for the explicit purpose of rescuing our sin-enslaved humanity. And he did just that when He died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead to assure our own resurrection.
We ALL live in states that are sinful. Are some more sinful than others? Probably. But what does it matter when we are ALL in the same boat and ALL in need of rescue? So, whether you call California, Nevada, Florida, Wyoming or South Dakota your home, you have the same need: salvation from sin.
Thanks be to our gracious God, we have that salvation given to us by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This truth is much more important than assessing the sinfulness of each state or of each individual in each state. More important is to know there is relief, forgiveness, pardon from our sins through Christ.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." [I John 1:9]
I pray you are living under that umbrella of God's loving forgiveness each day.
Have a blessed weekend ...