Time To Clean House

So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You've had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God. 1Peter 2:1-3 (The Message)

May we each be able to live lives that are free from malice. Malice--that desire to cause pain or distress to others--is a very real emotion. We may not want to say, but when people hurt us, we want them to hurt. Father, free us from malice. 

May we each live lives that are free from pretense. Pretense--that fake, phoniness that we all have within. You know pretense, that conjured feeling that you do not have. That need to "keep up with the Joneses". You know pretense; it says that all is well and fine, when your life is a tattered mess. Lord, may we not live fake and masked lives. May we have folks with whom we may remove the mask. Father, make us real.

May we each live lives free from envy. Oh, we all know envy, all too well. Envy is that sinking feeling that we get when we see our friend's or neighbor's success and we want it--and are somewhat pissed that they have it and not us. You know envy. Envy is when we hear of another of our friends expecting and instead of us being happy, we are jealous (a little pretense is needed here, too). Envy, you know. When yet another of our friends is engaged and we are not yet there... Holy Spirit, help clean us each of envy.

May we each live lives free of hurtful talk. We all are well acquainted with hurtful talk. We use it more as a defensive tool, if we are honest. We lash out in an attempt to keep others at bay. We use this hurtful talk when we are sad. When we have been hurt and when we are jealous of envious. Triune God, heal our hurts so we can stop hurting others.

Here is what I know: It is easy to pray these things; it is hard to live out these things. We need help each day to be real folks. I know that I am becoming so keenly aware of my pretentiousness. It reminds me of how much I desire to be liked and accepted. I honestly am not that conscious of how much that is in me; but it is. I want it vanquished because when the desire to be liked is so high, it makes for phoniness. Above all, I want to be a real and authentic person who lives loved and gives love. 

So, like many are doing this day before thanksgiving--in preparation for visitors--may we clean our spiritual house of these things that will ultimately destroy us. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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