Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 1 Peter 2:1
All the sins listed here are in direct opposition to loving others. In order to love others, we have to lay all of these down. The reason they’re listed is because those are quite common unlovely characteristics we exhibit. It’s not that we intentionally commit these acts. We just don’t think about them. We like to spread a bit of juicy gossip every now and then. If someone slams us, then we have every right to call them every name in the book. Only we don’t have that right as Christians.
Life is complicated, isn’t it? It goes back to what Paul wrote in Romans 7:15-20:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Of course we know the only solution to this dilemma. Every day we submit our tongues, our thoughts, and our actions to the Lord, and sometimes we have to submit these things every 5 minutes!
Well, if that’s what we have to do, we have to do it. There are no short cut or workarounds. It could even be a minute by minute submission to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Minute by minute, hour by hour, whatever it takes.