I’m almost relieved to get to the end of this verse. This is the 15th ‘commandment’ out of 50!
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4 v 31
Malice is important in legal cases where knowing an act is illegal before committing it becomes very much part of the judgment.
Not every killing is malicious. The suicide pact between a couple whose illicit love was so great as to make death seem preferable to living apart is not malicious.
Stories like Juliet drinking poison which knocks her out and everyone will think she’s dead but it all goes wrong and Romeo hadn’t got the message and believes she is truly dead and goes and kills himself. Juliet wakes up eventually and finds what Romeo did and so then kills herself properly. This is a disaster but there’s no malice.
Malice is the desire and the intent to harm, the unexplainable desire to see someone suffer.
It is to use the sentence, ‘he got what was coming to him’, the joy of seeing misfortune and hardship coming onto a person. The need to see someone suffer, having a desire to cause pain or distress to someone else.
This can never be in a Christian. Surely when we come to Christ then these qualities disappear?
But the Apostle doesn’t speak to those outside the Church but within.
The truth is malice lurks deep into the recesses of a heart that is deceitful beyond measure.
Paul says ‘Get rid’.
Maybe you know people are plotting your downfall. You stand on the rock of Christ and He will hold you firm. Those who plot are the ones who are on a slippery surface.
Do you remember when you wanted the person who hurt you to be hurt?
Does it lurk there in the recesses of your heart?