Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 1 Peter 2:1
Recently, I switched rooms in the home I rent. This took longer than expected, because I didn’t want to simply transfer my (extensive) mess to a new room; I wanted a completely fresh and uncluttered start. After hours and hours of cleaning and sorting, bags of stuff sat by the front door to be thrown away, donated, or recycled. But at the end of this exhausting process was a beautiful room I was excited to spend time in.
My housecleaning project gave me a fresh perspective when reading 1 Peter 2:1, as paraphrased in The Message: “So, clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy, and hurtful talk.” Interestingly, it’s after a joyful confession of their new life in Christ (1:1–12) that Peter urges them to throw away destructive habits (1:13–2:3). When our walk with the Lord feels cluttered and our love for others feels strained, this shouldn’t cause us to question our salvation. We don’t change our lives to be saved, but because we are (1:23).
As real as our new life in Christ is, bad habits learned do not disappear overnight. So, on a daily basis, we need to “clean house,” throwing away all that prevents us from fully loving others (1:22) and growing (2:2). Then, in that new, clean space, we can experience the wonder of being freshly built (v. 5) by Christ’s power and life.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the new life You are building in us through our Lord Jesus. Help us to daily turn to You for cleansing and renewal.
Every day we can reject destructive habits and experience new life in Jesus.
The Scriptures include both the good and the bad of Peter’s life. After Jesus’s arrest, Peter denied even knowing Jesus, but later proclaimed Him to be the Son of God. Peter struggled to be consistent in his relationship with Christ. Perhaps that is why we can relate to his story.
Writing to an audience of Jews and Gentiles, Peter encourages growth in salvation. Once we are saved, our journey has merely begun (1 Peter 2:2–3). Therefore, Peter encourages us to live an examined life, ridding ourselves of things that hinder our growth (v. 1) and keep us from loving each other (1:22). But this is only half the journey; the other half is “craving pure spiritual milk”—desiring and partaking of spiritual food through God’s Word, which results in developing good habits.
Are there habits you need to “rid yourself” of? What can you replace them with?
For more on developing a relationship with God, read Living an Authentic Christian Life at discoveryseries.org/hp111. J.R. Hudberg