“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”NIV
‘’Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.’’
Note the words ‘’all’’ and ‘’every’’. Take no prisoners! Show sin no mercy. Everything that needs to go should be shown the door. We need to live in an atmosphere of radical repentance.
In our homes, we regularly put out the rubbish. Imagine what it would do to the atmosphere if we didn’t. What a smell there would be. Peter tells us to put out all the sinful rubbish, knowing that we can do so as brand new people in Christ. (We have been ‘’born again’’ 1:23).
These are not the only sins people are capable of, but they are among those which ruin relationships – and in the next section he is going to write about the church.
It strikes me that we do need to distinguish between temptation and giving way to it. I’d be surprised if any Christian hasn’t felt tempted at times to hold on to resentment for example, or to be envious of someone else. But it’s one thing to feel the pull of temptation; quite another to give in.
‘Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin,’ says a famous hymn. (I’ve underlined the operative word).
Martin Luther apparently said, ‘You can’t prevent the birds from flying about your head, but you can prevent them building a nest in your hair.’
PRAYER: Lord, please help me by your Spirit to not let the smelly rubbish accumulate in my life. Strengthen me to keep on putting it in the bin – where it belongs!