Being a Christian should show in all of our life, even in the little details. In today’s verse, Peter mentions malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. These are all sins that might not immediately attract attention. They are often hidden “beneath the surface.” They are not as obvious as murder, for example. But that does not make them any less harmful. The apostle James explains: “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." And, "the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness […] setting on fire the entire course of life.”
These sinful words and attitudes are destructive in our relationships with others, and they are not fitting for Christians whose hearts have been cleansed by Jesus’ blood. Jesus says that what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart; “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). So, if our hearts have been washed clean from sin, they should no longer produce slander. Instead, Jesus’ disciples are called to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Their attitude should be upright and self-controlled.
Are your words loving and upright, or are they envious and deceptive?