Sermon Illustrations

Dr. Maxie Dunnam is one of the outstanding evangelical leaders in the United Methodist Church that I deeply admire. Maxie is the current Chancellor of Asbury Theological Seminary and her former President. He served the Upper Room Fellowship as their world editor and was the founding International Spiritual Director for what was originally the Upper Room Cursillo and became the Walk to Emmaus Movement. Through Upper Room publications he offers us many devotional materials including his book entitled THE WORKBOOK ON THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS which he co-authored with his daughter The Reverend Kimberly Dunnam Reisman.

In beginning their week of devotions reflecting on the sin of envy, Maxie and Kimberly share this story: “There was a man in ancient Greece who killed himself through envy. The story has it that a city erected a statute to honor the champion athlete in its public games. This athlete had an archrival who was so envious that he pledged to destroy the statue.

“Each night, under the cover of darkness, he would go to the statue and chisel at its base, hoping to make it fall. Finally, he achieved his goal and toppled the statue. His envy had driven him to destruction, not only of the statue, but of himself; for when the statue fell, it fell on him.” [SOURCE: --Maxie Dunnam and Kimberly Dunnam Reisman, The Seven Deadly Sins (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1997), 52-3.].