Have you, while reading the Bible, suddenly realised that you have glossed over sentences you meant to read?
Take the New Testament, and I have a huge chance of glossing over words like “grace, sanctified, justified”.
Old Testament? “Offering, temple, sacrifice,” get the “gloss” treatment.
The 1st letter of Peter was my latest victim.
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation- (1 Peter 1:25-2:2)
Yes. No malice, deceit, hypocrisy.. Humdrum, humdrum. Motor whirring somewhere.
Wait wait.. whuuh. What does “malice” even mean? Gloss moment!
Ok, I had a general idea what slander and hypocrisy meant but if I understood these, why was this section lifeless to me?
The Apostle was describing the effects of the gospel- how could that be lifeless?
Almost Applied Gloss
So, I turned to dictionary.com to understand what these words meant in today’s language-
Malice : Desire to inflict injury,harm,or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness.
Deceit : Concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading;duplicity;fraud;cheating.
Hypocrisy : A pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
Envy : A feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages,success,possessions, etc.
Slander / Back-biting : A malicious, false and defamatory statement or report.
“An attempt to make oneself look cleaner by slinging mud at someone else.” said one commentary. Ouch.
One look at each definition was enough to convict me that I was guilty of sins my heart was trying to gloss over. And I had not even begun thinking on how the Lord Jesus was the very opposite of all these words.
Use Gospel Milk, not Gloss
How was I to avoid the walls of malice in my heart and sneaky deceit I would speak at times?
Peter contrasts evil behaviour against the desire all Christ-followers should have to take in God’s Word- especially,the gospel that gave them New life to begin with.
Like an infant gulps in milk, all the readers of Peter’s Holy Spirit-inspired words are expected to have a steady gospel-intake.
What is your church’s strategy to fight sins like back-biting and heart-level meanness? Is it the news that Jesus lived a life with zero meanness and zero hypocrisy and now that life is credited to you?
Or is it something else, a gloss-over?