1 Peter 2:1-3 ESV
“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
When Reading a Scripture such as this, it is good if you can take the time to look up some of these words in a dictionary or in a thesaurus, even if you think you already know what they mean, because it causes you to have to think about what these words mean rather than to just skim over them. It is actually a very good practice when studying the Scriptures to pause after words and phrases and to think about what they are saying and then to pray and ask the Lord to show you where what is being said may apply to your life. For you may find that you are getting so much more from your reading.
For, malice is the intention or desire to do evil, and it is spite, meanness, and cruelty to others. And you may do this because of what someone did to you, and so you want to get even with him or her. But that is wrong, it is evil, and it is cruel, so you need to put that away.
And deceit, although it is lying, it is willful and deliberate lies intended to mislead others. So this is usually premeditated and with the full intention to convince others that the truth is a lie and/or that a lie is the truth. And this is often done with trickery, mind games, manipulation, and with deliberate misimpressions. And misimpressions are popular now, for these are indirect lies and thus are much harder to spot and/or to prove, for they are done very cleverly and with the full intention to mislead other people. Gotta go!
Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to be who you are not, or it is to claim to believe what you don’t put into practice. Often this is done as a coverup for secret sin as a means to deceive someone else into believing that you are not doing what you are doing, and that you are doing what you are not doing. So you put on a show of righteousness or of a walk of faith in the Lord but you use that as a premeditated cover for the sins you intend to do in secret. Or it is merely pretending one thing while willfully choosing to do the opposite. This must be put away from you.
Envy is a feeling of discontent and it is a passion and desire for what others have that you do not have. And this doesn’t have to be just possessions. You can envy someone else’s looks or their popularity or their intelligence or their personality or their giftedness or their talents, as well as their possessions. And then you can be resentful and bitter towards them because they have what you do not have, but what you want. This has to go, too.
Slander has to do with making deliberate false statements about other people usually with the intent of damaging their reputations. So this is defamation of character with the full intent to harm another person. And this can be tied into jealousy because this other person has what you want and so you hate that person for it. Or it could be you don’t like something that person is saying or doing and so you want to do something to stop him or her from the actions you don’t like. And this is extreme cruelty! Gotta go!
So, those things all need to be put away from our lives. And then we can long for the pure spiritual milk of God’s Holy Word, like a newborn baby longs for his or her mother’s milk (or bottled milk). The Word of God should be something we crave, that we desire, that we see that we need like a baby needs milk. We should never read the Scriptures out of routine or so we can claim we had our “quiet time” with God. For we are to learn from the Scriptures so we can grow in our walks of faith through obedience to them.
But we can only grow in our walks of faith and in our salvation IF we have experienced Jesus Christ through a genuine relationship with him, and if we have participated in his saving grace via dying with him to sin and living to him and to his righteousness. For if we claim to have fellowship with God while we walk in sin, we are liars. And if we claim to know God but we do not make it our practice to obey his commands (New Covenant), then we are liars. For then we don’t truly know God (1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:3-6).
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Praise the “I AM!”
An Original Work / February 24, 2012
Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!
I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!
He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”