“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit,
hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.”
(1 Peter 2:1)
When we enter into the salvation that Christ has gained for us there should be no room in our lives for those things that are the very opposite of the love, grace and forgiveness that we have received. They will certainly not be the fruit of the Spirit whom He has given to us.
Peter mentions some of them here – malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. It is impossible to imagine any of them as being a part of Jesus own life – which has become a model for us. We also know how very offensive such things are in others. They are there however to some degree in all of us and need to be recognised. There are two ways of dealing with them.
The first is to pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to pour the love of God into us (Romans 5:5). As He does so that great love will fill us more and more, heal us of the inadequacies that give rise to unloving and unlovely thoughts and actions, and increase in us the fruit of love that comes from the Spirit Himself.
The second response is to pause when we find ourselves indulging in such things. Take a moment to ask for God’s forgiveness and help, and pray love and blessing into the situation, person or people concerned.
The more that we are filled with God’s love the less the lack of love in others will influence us.
Bad habits can be replaced by good habits. Ugliness can give way to love. Darkness can be expelled by light. For,
“the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
(1 John 4:4)
Respond to the Spirit as He guides you.
Fill me with Your love, light and life Lord that these may be the qualities that I will share with those around me. Amen.