The Foul Five
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. I Peter 2:1-3 (KJV) emphasis mine
The Apostle Peter tells us how to grow as believers. First we must get rid of some foul things, then we must embrace the Word of God. Let’s look at the five nasty things he mentions that we need to dispose of.
Malice: According to the original Greek, this word refers to badness, an evil mindset, ill will, the shrewd and deceitful calculation of doing harm, desire to injure. We must put this far from us. We are to seek to help people rather than harm them- even those who do us wrong. A mindset of malice is based on hatred of others and its source is the devil.
Guile: The Greek meaning is decoy, a bait, trick, wile, craft, deceit. Guile is related to manipulation and the desire to trick people into doing things. In the Old Testament, Jacob was filled with guile and trickery before he met the Lord. Dealing dishonestly with people, tricking them, or fooling them in some way is contrary to the honest nature of God and His children.
Hypocrisies, or hypocrisy in the singular form: The original language tells that this is acting under a feigned part, pretense. It came to mean the acting of a stage player answering another actor using prepared dialogue. A hypocrite is one who plays a part- they are not genuine. They say one thing but believe another way. God expects His children to be real and honest, not fakes. We must walk the talk.
Envies: This refers to jealousies, spite. It is being displeased when witnessing the advantage or prosperity of others. The body of Christ is to rejoice when others are promoted or when they prosper because they love people and want the best for them. In addition, they understand that the God who does good for others will do it for them if they keep their hearts right.
Evil speakings: This one is fairly easy to figure out. It means to speak evil, to talk against, to slander. This covers all wrong conversations, gossip, slander, cursing, backbiting, speaking against others and speaking against ourselves. It includes unclean speech, such as dirty jokes or innuendos. And it definitely includes speaking against God and abusing His Name. We need to put a guard on our mouths and speak only what lines up with the Word of God and that which uplifts others.
As we lay aside these five filthy things, our desire for the Word of God will be unhindered. And as we feed on the Word, we will be transformed so that these things will not entangle us again. What we feed on becomes what we desire. As we feed on the Word, we will taste and see that the Lord is good. Nothing else will satisfy us but Him. Those negative things that we participated in before will become distasteful to us, and we will experience freedom and victory in Christ Jesus.