Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. (1 Peter 2:1, NIV)
Maybe you’ve participated in an “office clean up day” in the past? The idea is that everyone in the office sets aside one day to clean up. Desks get cleaned off. Piles are removed. Files get cleared out. Everything that’s no longer needed is gotten rid of.
People look forward to this. Sometimes music plays in the hallways. And dumpsters get filled up with trash. If you’ve ever done this, you know that it is a day of great joy. Why? Because people have a job to do and it feels good to get rid of all the clutter that holds them back.
That’s the same picture Peter is using here. Get rid of the clutter. If you see deceit, deception, hypocrisy, malice, or slander, take it out. Get rid of it. Put it in the dumpster. Because God has given you a job to do, and this clutter is holding you back.
Now the important thing to notice here is the way God consistently speaks to the Christian believer. This is true all over the New Testament. God speaks to the Christian as someone who has power: “Be self-controlled. Do not conform to evil desires. Get rid of malice.”
So don’t wait for God to do it. God has given you power to act. The resurrection of Jesus has made a new life possible for you. God’s Spirit lives in you. Get to work.
God speaks to you, Christian, as someone who has power. But are you living like someone who has power?