Malicious PrattleBro. David Chancellor
10/22/2006 11:00 AM
3 John 1-14
The elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church; whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well. Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such that we might be fellow-helpers to the truth. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words; and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God; but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.
This letter was written to Gaius. John had also written a letter to the church, but that letter hadn’t been shared. John was concerned for souls, so he sent the letter to Gaius.
"Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words…" Prating is idle chatter. This idle chatter had a malicious intent. These were words that hurt. We need to be careful of our words that they not be words that hurt. Malice has to do with evil intent and ill will. It may imply a deepseated and often unreasonable dislike, or it could be a causeless passing mischievous impulse.
If we have a desire to intentionally hurt someone, then something is wrong with us. It’s hard to judge the intent of someone else’s words, but we can judge the intent of our own. We don’t want to say things that are hurtful and damaging to others. Ill-considered words can cost a lot and the damage can be significant.
After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew. And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
Something got stirred within Haman and he was out to hurt someone. He felt slighted; this is often the root of malicious words. Malice and pride go together. Mordecai wouldn’t bow because (as far as we know) he felt it wouldn’t be right. Haman didn’t care why, he just felt miffed.
Sometimes people might do things that they feel are right, that will unintentionally slight you. We don’t want to get offended and have malice stirred up in us. We don’t want the desire to do hurt. Be careful in what you do and say not to hurt those around you. It isn’t right to have malice in your heart, but if it’s there, it will come out in your words.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Jesus was pretty plain here. He spoke plainly because he cared and wanted to set things straight. Be careful when things go beyond principle and become personal. Principle applies to everyone. It aims at something rather than at someone. We shouldn’t speak with the intent to hurt. Make sure that evil isn’t coming out. It if it, it is coming from within, and needs to be removed.
We’re going to give account for our idle words. Be careful not to be out tearing people down. Consider what you’re saying. Make sure that what comes out is good. Make sure there isn’t evil intent in what you say.
Colossians 3:8, 5-6
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry; For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Many people put off the "gross sins" ("fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry"). They see that these things need to stop, but they sometimes over look these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. These need to stop, too. These show something wrong within the heart. They have no part in the life of a Christian. We don’t want these kinds of things within.
1 Peter 2:1-2, 15-16
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;
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
We should look into the word so that we can grow and learn. We shouldn’t study JUST to argue it with others. We’re not out to sharpen our sword and use it on people. When we study and grow, we can share it so that others can be encouraged and grow, too.
"…not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God…" We enjoy a great liberty in Christ. Our experience is between us and God. No one can take it from us. Don’t use this liberty to hide maliciousness. It still matters what we do. We should still be submissive and humble. The freedom doesn’t mean we’re free to do our own thing. We shouldn’t be out doing mischievous acts, or acting out of evil intent. We don’t want to justify anything that is wrong. We can share without trying to hurt.
Malice needs to be put aside. The Holy Spirit within will help us to love each other and to promote what is true and right.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
God isn’t pleased by wicked thoughts. If you think them long enough, they’ll come out. God is pleased by the words of the pure in heart. They produce good things in other people. The hard things will be said as well as they can to help, instead of to hurt. Keep your heart pure. Don’t let life’s troubles and issues take that purity away. Make your words pleasant, not hurtful.