Following the immensely popular Seven Deadly Sins movies—LustEnvyWrath and Greed—Lifetime continues the anthology with a new sin and new movie, Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story. Executive produced by T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams and Shaun Robinson, and inspired by actual events, the movie centers on the story of a famous bakery owner and reality TV star Birdie Moore (Grammy-Award winner, Stephanie Mills) whose past secrets threaten the enormous success she has achieved. Joining Mills are co-stars Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles as Birdie’s son, Gabe Moore; Keeya King as her granddaughter, Ella Boudreaux; and Grammy-Award winner Erica Campbell as Pastor Trey. Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story premieres on Saturday, April 8 at 8/7c. The prior 7 Deadly Sins Lifetime original movies – LustEnvy, Wrath and Greed – attracted close to 7 million total viewers in 2022.
Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story tells the story of reality TV star Birdie Moore (Stephanie Mills), whose carefully constructed world starts to crumble — like the baked goods that catapulted her to fame — when her family secrets are brought to light. To salvage her legacy, Birdie must let go of the pride that estranged her from her daughter. Birdie’s pride also prevents her from seeing that her son Gabe Moore (Thomas Miles) is actually a thieving opportunist and that her granddaughter Ella Boudreaux (Keeya King) is just a lost twenty-something trying to build up her life after some missteps. While pride helped drive Birdie’s success, it also made her blind to what was happening around her. Will Birdie finally be able to see and admit the truth, or face the consequences of her pride?  Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story is produced by Neshama Entertainment, T.D. Jakes Enterprises, DNA Media Group and RobinHood Productions in association with MarVista Entertainment. T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams, and Shaun Robinson serve as executive producers along with Larry Grimaldi, Hannah Pillemer and Fernando Szew for MarVista Entertainment, and Arnie Zipursky and Suzanne Berger for Neshama. Pride is directed by Troy Scott from a script written by Felicia Brooker. Award-winning composer and music director, Ray Chew, is the movie’s composer.  In addition to Stephanie Mills, Thomas Miles and Keeya King, the movie also stars Lucia Walters (Virgin River) as Shanice; and Jaime M. Callica (Ruthless) as Khalil.  The Seven Deadly Sins movie anthology is inspired by novels from author Victoria Christopher Murray, who is a consulting producer on Pride

In the apostle’s “body of Christ” metaphor (1 Cor. 12:12-26), Paul exhorts believers to work together so as to avoid temptations that come from thinking we can do our Lord’s work independent of the other and often less visible parts of his body. In my volunteer work with the Coast Guard, I came to understand the importance of teamwork and redundancy in the success of a mission. Multiple specialized skills are needed. Should the first unit fail, there is always a second, and often a third, ready and able to step in. Paul’s emphasis on the variety of gifts (1 Cor. 12:1-11; 27-31) illustrates the kingdom’s preferred practice of equipping multiple mission “specialists” who can accomplish God’s work when they have pooled their resources for the greater glory of the Giver rather than the gifted.

Finally, God’s work is to be done on earth the way it is done in heaven. One of the defining doctrines of the Christian faith is the Trinity. From the foundation of time, God revealed himself in the form of the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the Creation account, we are introduced to a Creator who declares, “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26). All of Creation is judged “good” except for Adam. Since it is “not good that man should dwell alone,” the Three-in-One makes a “helpmeet” to work with and alongside Adam to reflect God’s image and achieve his purposes. David needed a Jonathan and his “mighty men,” Nehemiah enlisted Ezra, the Twelve Tribes required each other to occupy the land and accomplish the will of Jehovah. The Psalms of Ascent, sung on the way up to Jerusalem’s Temple, crescendo to and culminate with “how good and pleasant it is” when his people gather, work, and worship together in unity (Psa. 133:1). If God’s purposes on earth began with and were advanced through partnerships, we can assume that his work can be achieved best in such a collaborative context.

But if collaboration is so self-evident, then why is it so difficult to achieve? While there are several factors that frustrate collaboration, two seem to stand out in the history of the church: fear of compromise and issues of ego. When collaboration requires the compromise of the essentials of faith, it cannot be embraced. However, the challenge is to determine the real essentials. Too often, partnerships are broken or resisted because of clinging to distinctive practice or belief systems that have nothing to do with the eternal destiny of souls. For the sake of the kingdom, we need the commitment that if we can agree on the essentials of redemption, all else will be worked out in order to see the work of Christ completed.

The greater hindrance to collaboration, however, is ego—the presumption that my ministry and my movement have a preferred place in God’s work. Collaboration requires that we care only that Jesus is lifted up and that in the end, he alone gets the glory. We who are called to declare the gospel must follow John the Baptist’s model. Initially, John was the sole voice crying in the wilderness to “prepare ye the way of the Lord.” Soon he needed to step aside, willingly decreasing so that the primacy of Christ increased (John 3:30). Like John, we might as well practice and get it right here since we will spend an eternity casting our crowns before him and having our voices united and blended in eternal praise.

In this season of unprecedented opportunity, we must be more willing to walk together out of our respective doors and into the fields ready for harvest. This great work is too large, complex, and important for us to achieve on our own. If our ministry is truly to be God’s ministry, done his way, we should expect that it can best be accomplished when we determine to “let us” create, work, support, and serve in his image rather than our own. We are created and called to collaborate. Out of such collaboration will flow the anointing oil of the Spirit and the life-giving dew of Hermon (Psa. 133:2-3). And we will hear heaven’s choir singing, “How good and beautiful when God’s people dwell together in unity!”

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