Are the Seven Deadly Sins in the Bible?
Though people often speak of the "seven deadly sins," the more accurate description is seven capital vices." A vice is not the same thing as a sin; rather, it is a habit that inclines us to sin. Usually a vice is the result of repeated sinful actions of a particular kind, so that a truly "vicious" cycle appears: Sins lead to a habit, which in turn leads to more sins.
The word "capital" comes from the Latin term for "head." A capital vice is thus "head," or chief, among other vices in the sense that it leads to others. Though Scripture contains no explicit reference to seven particular vices as "capital," we find numerous biblical warnings against these seven: pride, envy, sloth, lust, greed, gluttony, and anger. The Wisdom Books especially - job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, and Sirach - address them repeatedly.
Pride, "the reservoir of sin" (Sir 10:13), is the habit of thinking of ourselves, and our qualities, more highly than we truly merit. Envy is the sense of pain or misery indulged in when we see someone else prosper (see Wis 2:24). Sloth (or acedia) is a kind of spiritual laziness that makes us reluctant to do good because it might cost us something (see Prv 12:24).
Lust is the inordinate desire for sexual pleasure that inclines us to see others as objects for our personal gratification (see Prv 6:25-29). Greed (or covetous- ness or avarice) is an immoderate desire for material goods or worldly honors (see Ps 11936). Gluttony (or intemperance) is the excessive desire for, or use of, food and drink (see Prv 23:21 ). Anger (or wrath) in this context refers to the tendency to become angry excessively or without just cause (see Ps 37:8).
The best way to cure a vice is to build the opposite habit through practice; this good habit is called a "virtue."