1 Peter 2:1-3, “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
The Lord is gracious. That is evident by all that God has done and is doing for the world. God does not have to do any more than He has already done and yet, He continues to do more and more. This is just how God is. In return for all that God has done, there are some things that God asks that we refrain from. Some of these are in the passage above.
We are to lay aside malice. Malice is the intention to do evil. Though the evil is not necessary done, it is thought about. This is not pleasing to God. God knows not only our actions but also our thoughts. Our thoughts matter. God wants our thoughts to be pure and be done with love and not evil. Malice is to be avoided.
We are to lay aside deceit. Deceit is deceiving and misrepresenting the truth. This also includes omission of truth. This is a hard one for a lot of people as lies can be so invasive. The truth is what God desires. He can see the truth and knows our hearts. If we are trying to be dishonest with God, He will know. If we are dishonest with others, God will deal swiftly with us. God does not like a lying heart.
We are to lay aside hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is exhibiting behaviors that are contrary to what one believes. This speaks to saying one thing and doing another. If you say that you would never steal and then rob a bank, you would be a hypocrite. This is an absurd example but proves applicable.
We are to lay aside envy. Envy is when someone wants something that someone else has. If someone is more intelligent that you and you want their intelligence, that is envy. God blesses every individual with specific gifts and does not want His creation wanting what they were not given. God knows our needs and makes sure to meet those needs. If you meant to be a genius, you would be. Where you lack in one area you excel in another. Where that other person is good, another area they fall short.
We are to lay aside all evil speaking. This includes libel, slander, and other forms of “un-lovely” speech. God is love. He is the opposite of evil so it would stand to reason that God would not want us engaging in evil behavior. God wants us to be kind and loving and nice to our fellow-man. The same way that God treats us should be the way that we treat others.
God wants us to grow. As we grow, we go from desiring the milk of the word to the “meat and potatoes” of the word. We begin to learn more and more and dive deeper and deeper in our relationship with God. We begin to question more and more what we read. Not because it is wrong but because we want to understand the word of God more. Let us enjoy God and partake of the Word of God. Let us avoid evil and seek good. God is good. Let us be good like God. He is the perfect example to live by.
You know our hearts and minds. You know that we are a wicked and evil people. I pray for forgiveness from all the evil that is done in this world. In evil’s place, I ask that you give everyone a good heart, seeking to do good and not evil. You are so gracious that we cannot repay. You are the perfect example for us and give us all that we need. I am so thankful for all that You are and all that Your do. It is Your graciousness that enables me to do what I love to do. We love You, Father, and we seek to serve and honor You.
In Your name we pray,