Putting Away Malice

When I feel I am treated unjustly, it seems my first reaction is to strike back, to defend myself. But Peter reminds us, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance (1 Peter 1:14, NIV).” While we have the Spirit of God within us as followers of Jesus Christ, we still are contained within this earthly body. “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want (Galatians 5:17, NIV).”

It is a daily struggle to suppress our earthly desires to pursue God’s righteousness. Each day we must be intentional. “putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander (1 Peter 2:1).” We must desire to “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30, NASB).” Peter said, “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord (1 Peter 2:2-3).”

(NIV) 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. – (Romans 8:5, NIV)

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; – 1 Peter 2:21-23, NASB)

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