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“Without sacrifice we may become active in a church but remain inactive in its gospel. In other words we go for the social façade of religion and the piety of religious practices.” Stephen R Covey

The 6th Deadly Sin is ‘Religion without Sacrifice’.

I know someone who went to church for a long time, but left when they started to realise that many people who went there professed faith and love but failed regularly to express it. In fact, such folk (like politicians, funnily enough) were visibly involved in self-aggrandisement within the hierarchy. If someone got in their way they seemed, shall we say, less charitable?

If you state, publicly, that you follow a certain path – whether that be a religious path or merely belief in a philosophy like the 7 Habits or the 3 Resolutions, then you should really try to exercise that philosophy in the moment of choice, and you should aim to do so consistently. In fact – and this is the hard part – you should be even more inclined to try to do that when it is most in-convenient, because that is when your commitment is most tested.

I find it hard, I admit. On the one hand I want to be a person of competence and good character and in the main I am, BUT occasionally something happens and I suddenly desire that the other driver involved crashes horrifically and dies in the blazing conflagration that their driving deserves. And I will always want to smash the fog-lights of people who use them in broad daylight or rain because it makes their car look pretty.

(Oops, heart on sleeve, there.)

I am no saint. Neither, I suspect, are you. But there’s no harm, and a great deal of gain, in at least moving in that direction. The First Resolution will provide you with the discipline to make better choices for yourself, and the Second Resolution will give you the character and the competence to make better choices for the benefit of others.

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