Definition of MALICE –
“Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite.” WOW!
Let me simplify this for you, “very strong hate against someone that would lead you to hurt them, all because you are envious of them, or you wish to get back at them because they did you wrong or simply because you have nursed a mean heart and enjoy hurting others.”
If you read part one of this article, you would’ve been introduced to this definition before.
MALICE!! The word has been playing on my mind recently, and I think it is because I myself have been making every effort not to harbor malicious thoughts or rather not to harbor dangerous emotions and thoughts that could lead to MALICE. I am allowing God to continuously sanctify me to purge me of those stubborn habits that are only set-backs and I desire that they have no part of me.
There are some interesting examples of MALICE in the Bible; let’s look at one of them;
Genesis 4:5 – But unto Cain and to his offering He (God) had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
Let’s look at the entire story:
Verses 1-8 of Chapter 4
“And Adam knew (had sex with) Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bore his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
This is so dread!
I wish to highlight a few important things about this story;
- There were obviously conditions for a sacrifice to be acceptable; one Sacrifice was ordinary while the other represented effort made and was not ordinary.
Notice the descriptions given of the sacrifices
- Cain’s Sacrifice – “off the fruit of the ground” “but unto Cain and his offering he had no respect”
- Abel’s Sacrifice – “the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof” “And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering”
- God openly expressed how he felt about each sacrifice.
- Jealousy and envy took over Cain instead of self-examination; why didn’t he decide to do something about his sacrifice, instead of turning his attention to Abel?
- He fed his anger, his jealousy, and his envy and it led him to thinking evil thoughts against his own brother and subsequently planning evil against him; Cain eventually killed Abel.
Do you see MALICE demonstrated here?
MALICE is very destructive and can interfere with your purpose. It can disturb the positive impact you are meant to create. For us to live life to the fullest, we must learn to control our emotions; they can really get us into trouble. Untamed emotions can destroy our minds, our relationships and most of all, make it can make it difficult for us to achieve meaningful living. Meaningful living is attained when we learn to deny ourselves of our own personal pleasures (good and bad) for the good of others, and ultimately the good of ourselves. Cain should’ve been happy for Abel and seek only to do things that would protect his brother and uplift his brother, not hurt him. Cain should’ve met with God in a quiet moment and make things right, he could’ve confessed “Lord I am sorry for dishonoring you with my Sacrifice”. The consequences he experienced because of giving way to MALICE, was not worth it. Feel free to read the rest of the chapter to discover the consequences faced by Cain.
Let’s try our best not to encourage early signs of MALICE, like jealousy and envy; it really can distract us from achieving God’s best for us in this life.