My twin foxes have begun crying, screaming, reaching out, and hanging on to me when I drop them off with their sitter. It breaks my mama heart. Every time I want to pick them back up and promise to never leave. But I have to work. So, I leave. I know those teary eyes will dry shortly after I go and they find something fun in the toy bin. My sitter will send me beautiful pictures of them playing at the park or in the sand and I will miss their sweet faces for the hours that I am at work. When my stay-at-home-mom friends share stories about their days – good or bad – I get a ping of jealousy. Not always enough that it affects my mood, but at least enough that I notice it.
Then…Peter. He spends a whole chapter preaching the gospel – Christ died for our sins. Chapter 2 begins firmly with “so” or “therefore” depending on your English translation. Since you know that Christ has died for your sins “rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander” (1 Peter 2:1). That pretty much covers each of us in the sin category. Honestly, malice covers us all. Peter tells us to stop desiring to do evil. Just stop. Why?! Because of the gospel. It should affect your life – intentions, emotions, beliefs. Later in this letter he tells us to set Christ apart as Lord of our hearts. If Christ is Lord, it naturally follows that our intentions are for holiness and righteousness, not evil.
What else? Rid yourselves of all deceit. When was the last time you told a “little white lie”just to avoid an awkward conversation? Or to make yourself look a little better? Then there’s this: hypocrisy. I know this one is everyone. I’m not even going to talk about it. Then there’s me, envy. Jealous of people who love me and whom I love because they have something that I want but can’t have. Although in my situation envy doesn’t lead to slander, I get caught up in the bad talking of others more than I want to admit.
We fail so hard. But here’s the truth: this is why we need the gospel. Our new lives in Christ enable us to live free of these sins. Our position in Christ, covered by the blood He shed on the cross is how we know that we are forgiven and don’t live in the guilt of these sins when we fail.
I pray that as you, my friend, read this you are simultaneously encouraged – to know that you can turn to the Lord in repentance and He will forgive your sins completely – and hateful – of the sin that continues to linger as you learn to live with Christ as ruler over your life.