Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

We don’t like trash. To validate that assertion, there is disposal equipment and services all around us. For example, there is a trash can in almost every room of my house. In school, there are trash cans in every classroom and along the halls. In arenas, parks, stadiums and the like, trash cans abound. We all are acutely aware when something has served its purpose and no longer has value to us. That’s when we rid ourselves of those things.

Likewise in a spiritual sense, there are things that no longer have value to us, so we must rid ourselves of them. The problem is that we fluctuate between knowing when something has no value and trying to hold on to. This is where we find Peter reminding the believers to rid themselves of things that has no value to them as believers. They are trash, but we often treasure that trash.

1 Peter 2:1

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. (NIV)
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, (NKJV)

The therefore is there because Peter had conveyed to the believers since they had been born again they were to have a sincere and deep love for one another from the heart. They were born again of not of perishable seed, but of imperishable. More importantly, Peter conveyed to the believers that it was through the living and enduring word of God that they were saved.

In view of the attributes of God’s grace and the enduring Word of God that brought salvation, honor God by obeying the Word where Peter says, “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” Based on the statement, man has some responsibility in renewing his mind and transforming his character to that of Christ Jesus. Whether one rids or lays aside, it is an action one takes by the power of God to bring about a different response to people and life’s circumstances.

What are the attributes we are to rid ourselves or to lay aside? First, we are told in 1 Peter 1:22 that believers are to have a sincere and deep love for one another. The admonition here addresses behavior that are in sharp contrast to loving one another. “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” Each succeeding one springs out of that which immediately precedes, so as to form a genealogy of the sins against love. Out of malice springs guile; out of guile, hypocrises (pretending to be what we are not, and not showing what we really are; the opposite of “love unfeigned,” and “without dissimulation”); out of hypocrisies, envies of those to whom we think ourselves obliged to play the hypocrite; out of envies, evil-speaking, malicious, envious detraction of others. Guile is the permanent disposition; hypocrisies the acts flowing from it. The guileless knows no envy. Compare 1Pe 2:2, “sincere,” Greek,guileless.” “Malice delights in another’s hurt; envy pines at another’s good; guile imparts duplicity to the heart; hypocrisy (flattery) imparts duplicity to the tongue; evil-speakings wound the character of another” [AUGUSTINE].

Matthew Henry defines those ridding attributes in the following manner:

all malice – may be taken more generally for all sorts of wickedness, as Jam. 1:21; 1 Co. 5:8. But, in a more confined sense, malice is anger resting in the bosom of fools, settled overgrown anger, retained till it inflames a man to design mischief, to do mischief, or delight in any mischief that befals another.

all deceit – or guile – So it comprehends flattery, falsehood, and delusion, which is a crafty imposing upon another’s ignorance or weakness, to his damage.

hypocrisy – The word being plural comprehends all sorts of hypocrisies. In matters of religion hypocrisy is counterfeit piety. In civil conversation hypocrisy is counterfeit friendship, which is much practised by those who give high compliments, which they do not believe, make promises which they never intend to perform, or pretend friendship when mischief lies in their hearts.

envy – every thing that may be called envy, which is a grieving at the good and welfare of another, at their abilities, prosperity, fame, or successful labours.

slander of every kind – which is detraction, speaking against another, or defaming him; it is rendered backbiting, 2 Co. 12:20; Rom. 1:30.

Considering the list of things to rid ourselves, we have a lot of work to do. If not all, we are quick to employ one of those attributes when relating to people especially to fellow believers. For me, all are issues, but malice which is based in deep-rooted anger is my paramount issue. I have been plagued with dealing with anger all my life. it is only through Christ that it has not totally ruined me at this point; however, it remains my primary adversary. At every turn, I have to fight anger especially as it relates to the ones I love the most or things done that I abhor. I am not wise or refined enough in my character to not sin in my anger. Consequently, I have to confess to God, when I am alert enough, that I am anger. Then, I have to wait to be released from my anger as I confess.

Are you still treasuring trash? God sent Christ that we might be free. Being bound or entangled by those attributes enslaves us again to sin. This is why Peter encourages us to rid ourselves of those things. I am not sure about you, but I still have a lot of work to do before it can be said I you have totally rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.


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