the 7 contemporary sins of youth

last week, i posted “the new 10 commandments“, as re-written by a group of 100 european young adults as part of an mtv sticky study. (the mtv sticky report called youthtopia (a study of hopes and dreams). the study describes itself this way: “In the first-ever effort to understand the values, hopes and dreams of young people in Europe, MTV asked over 7,000 youths to imagine their ideal world and to consider brands as people and whether those ‘people’ would be welcome in their world –‘Youthtopia’.”) i thought these 10 commandments, while idealistic and likely not fully reflective of behavior (but, as i wrote in a comment, how reflective is our behavior of the biblical 10 commandments?) was both surprising, and encouraging. but not everyone in the comments agreed with that assessment.

another part of the study followed the same methodology, but focused on the seven deadly sins. in case you can’t remember the 7 original ones, they are:
1. pride
2. envy
3. gluttony
4. lust
5. anger
6. greed
7. sloth

a group of 100 european youth (young adults) were asked to collaboratively write a new list of the 7 deadly sins. realize, this was not a “christian” study, nor was the faith of the participants part of the selection process.

this list is interesting and telling. once again, i think this exercise would be very interesting to go through with a high school (or college-aged) youth group.

here’s the list the european youth came up with:
1. racism
2. dishonesty
3. bullying
4. greed
5. adultery
6. anger
7. envy

what’s your response to this one?

6 thoughts on “the 7 contemporary sins of youth”

  1. While not exhaustive, it’s a darn good list. What if these were the behaviors we focused on in our youth groups (and countering them with positive ones, of course), instead of the normal trio of drinking, drugs, and sex?

  2. Honestly, I don’t see that much of a difference in the lists. Maybe they are a bit more polished up in PC terms but they still are very similar in the heart. Racism is just pride in an ugly sense. Greed and gluttony go hand in hand. anger made both lists, what’s the difference between envy and greed? The only thing i see missing from the first list to the second is sloth. I guress it’s okay to be lazy. Maybe that’s whey fewer teens are physically active outside of school. Empty basketball courts, empty ice skating rinks (hey i live in wisconsin), but full video games rooms.
    What is instead of teaching here are the things you can’t do we start teaching them what Jesus did?

  3. its great to hear what they think their sins are, but i wonder if they would be open to the constructive criticism of how the world perceives them and what older generations would say their top 7 sins are. i think we need both perspectives so its great that we have a list like this. very often we just tell them what’s wrong with them and don’t wait to listen if they would point it out themselves. i think one of the biggest sins for teens (and much older as well) is selfishness. i think it goes beyond greed where we think that everything is owed to us. i grew up not having much and i still felt that way. we need to teach young people from a very young age to not be selfish with money, with possessions, in relationships, at work, etc. so that they don’t grow into many of the adults we see today who act that same way. we must consider others greater than ourselves.

  4. I like their list better

    very surprised to see adultery listed – not at all surprised to see racism at the top…both, though, demonstrate a total disconnect from belief and action as prejudice and promiscuity run rampant

    great list

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