Make a Difference by Addressing Sin – Malice - 26 October 2017

Louise Gevers

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” 1 Peter 2:1

Peter slots into his message “therefore”, a word which leads to action, to add impetus to what he has already said about the effect of the Word on his readers’ lives.

How good are you? If every day you were to write down in a notebook your thoughts, words and actions that were malicious, deceitful, hypocritical, envious or slanderous, what would you find out about yourself?

Peter begins with malice, the opposite of love, which is the ill will seen in people towards others which often results in harming them. When we harbour malice we think badly of others; we don’t give them the benefit of the doubt, but do things to them that are nasty, spiteful or even evil. Any criminal fits into this category, but so does the person who, unprovoked, deliberately sets himself against another, or does or says something unkind or offensive to hurt him and who sees him as inferior to himself. On a personal level, and even on a national level, malice can be the origin of many different types of injustice and can even be responsible for hatred, unrest and war.

Addressing the problem needs to start at grass-roots level. Proverbs says,“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

When we open our lives honestly to the influence of the Holy Spirit, He will help us to understand the Word, change our way of seeing things and transform us spiritually and morally from the inside out. He will bring to light our activities that are against His principles along with the things that are idols in our lives. Freeing our lives of these things enables us to commit ourselves to Him alone and to serve Him with delight and joy.

James says,“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)This is how we learn to do His will and grow spiritually.So we must admit our sins and abandon our willfulness. When Jesus tells us to treat others as we’d like to be treated, we remove malice from our hearts and forever after test our motives in every situation that we find ourselves.

Let’s take to heart Peter’s unambiguous instructions. God bless you.

Prayer: Father, wrongdoing can be very subtle. When I sit openly before You, I realise how far from perfection I am and how much I need Your mercy and Your help to enable me to rid myself of malice, and replace it with love. Please help me. In Jesus’ Name I ask this.  Amen

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