How are things going? Are you living a John 10:10, Ephesians 3:20 and 2 Corinthians 3:18 life? Are you experiencing abundancy and a life full of peace and contentment? I am living this life and as I have shared in the past I want all to live life this way. For me, a key verse that has helped me live this kind of life is the following: So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21 Amplified)
In the last entry, we looked at uncleanness. Today, I want to dig a bit deeper into the word wickedness. Wickedness as defined in the Vine’s Expository Dictionary is depravity, malignity, maliciousness, naughtiness. Often when one thinks of wickedness, they go to Hitler or Stalin or some of the awful cases of child abuse and neglect that we unfortunately hear about on a daily basis. Those are all true of what wickedness entails but if I am not careful, I will think that this is not something I, personally, have to deal with and I would be so wrong.
When I think of wickedness, what first comes to mind is mean people. People that are belligerent, angry, spiteful, hateful and cause harm because it makes them feel better or builds them up. A wonderful friend once said to me, “Hurt people hurt and 95% of the time you are wonderful but there are times when you hurt.” Ouch but oh so good – the wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy.
This comment forced me to dig deeper in my motives and my actions and how often I was responding out of a wound and not out of wisdom. The kicker for me was the definition of malignity – Oxford says it is to speak about someone in a spitefully critical manner: i.e. don't you dare malign her in my presence.
Oh my! Another ouch! There is a fine line between speaking of someone critically and being critical in a spiteful way. To be safe…to avoid wickedness…to maintain purity in what I say and do, my goal is to never speak critically of someone. And to not hang around long with those that do.
Let’s be known as people who lift up. People who see the best in others. People who not only have clean hands in all that we do but the very words out of our mouth and the motives of our hearts are pure. That we are never ashamed of nor excusing the words that we speak or the comments that we make. Is this a high calling? Oh yes!! But when we do it, peace and contentment are a normal part of our lives.
Next time, we will look at the word humble.