When Peter wrote to the Christians, he knew they were facing hardships and persecutions. Peter wanted to encourage them and offer them hope and meaning in the midst of their suffering. The Christians he was writing to were living in Asia Minor, which is Turkey today. These Christians were upset with how they were being treated and what was being said about them. He wrote to them in 1 Peter 2:1, "So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander." Although the Jews were causing them great trouble, Peter was encouraging them to not treat them likewise.
John also wrote to this same group of Christians located in the same area. He wrote in 1 John 4:7-8, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love."
How easy is it for us as humans to find fault in someone else! How easy it is for us to talk critically of someone else!
But the Bible says we are not to participate in that kind of thinking or speaking. That is what malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander is. Then the apostle John has the audacity to tell us that if we do such, then we "do not know God" because God would not treat His children that way!
Yes, the criticism you and I face daily is from people who "do not know God". If they did, they would not treat their brothers and sisters in Christ with such meanness. More importantly, we must ask ourself if we are participating in any "malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy or slander" towards them and are we instead showing them love? I don't know about you, but I don't want to disappoint the Father. Not showing love to those who speak unkind of you and me would be a travesty in God's eyes and a waste of our time here on earth.
Tomorrow I will share more emails, phone calls and comments from our viewers and hear what some of you had to say about yesterday's blog.