Free From Resentments

Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes that resentment is toxic to our inner lives. The case is plainly stated in the Big Book:

“Resentment is the number one offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.”

Peter counseled his audience to find a way to be free from resentment.

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander (1 Peter 2.1).

Each of the five words that Peter uses to characterize resentments adds to the overall picture of their destructive nature.

(1) Malice – Evil, malice, maliciousness, naughtiness, and wickedness give a fuller picture of this character trait of resentment.

An Internet search of “malice in the news” reveals a large number of articles that deal with defamation of character and libel.

(2) Guile – When a fish sees a worm on a hook and thinks it is lunch, the tricked fish ends up as lunch for the fisherman.

That is the picture of “guile” or “trickery.”

(3) Insincerity – The New Revised Standard Version translates the Greek as “insincerity.” Most frequently, the word is “hypocrisy.”

Actors in the first century wore masks. The mask allowed the same actor to play different parts and amplified their voice.

The word for the mask was “hypocrite.”

(4) Envy – This character trait also involves ill will and jealousy.

Kierkegaard describes a jealous person who attends a funeral and muses that he is being eulogized or at a wedding where he imagines himself as the groom.

(5) Slander – We use words to stand on another person to make ourselves feel taller.

Add all of these negative traits together and you get toxic resentments. Peter’s counsel is to get rid of them.

The question is how?


Paul wrote about “the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5.26).

Peter knew what Paul was talking about and wrote his audience to use God’s word to rid themselves of resentment.

Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation

If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2.2-3).

Hungry babies use every ability at their disposal to be fed. If followers of Jesus long for spiritual food with the same energy as babies, we will grow spiritually.

Note, we don’t grow so we can be eternally saved. If we have received Christ as our Savior, that is a settled issue.

Salvation, however, is a continual process of growth. Just as regular nutrition is essential for our bodies, so is God’s word.

We don’t stop with Bible reading. Spiritual reading aims to connect us personally with the Lord.

Nothing can take the place of a genuine experience with God. When we connect with him we will truly exclaim, “The Lord is good!”

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I continue our discussion of 1 Peter on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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