“Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (I Corinthians 14:20)
Totally unexpected, while walking across the room one morning, the Spirit spoke these words within me, “with malice toward none.” What challenge lies therein! The Dictionary defines the word “malice” as enmity of heart, ill will. The Greek word here is “kakia” meaning evil, badness.
If every expression that proceeded from our being were pure, holy, and governed by love, obviously there would be no malice. It is hard for the natural mind to conceive of such a state of being, for the flesh seeks to protect itself, and generates an ill feeling towards anyone or anything which would affect it adversely. “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,” (I Peter 2:1). It takes a mighty inworking of the grace of God so that all of our actions are totally without any ill feeling towards another!
Study the emotions that stir us to action. When we are of a benevolent disposition, we tolerantly let a lot of things “slide by”, but when our disposition changes, and we have an ill feeling, we strike out in self-defense. Purgings are needed until we are made “pure, as He is pure”.
O flesh so arrogant and proud,
Self-centered ways that clamor loud,
Your days are numbered, fading fast,
Your vaunted image cannot last.
The cross shall deal its deathly blow,
Humiliation lay thee low,
Till Christ alone shall be revealed,
The inner man, so long concealed.
And then true grace and mercy give,
Forgiveness births a hope to live,
With neither malice nor ill will,
But joy and peace the earth to fill.