From the epistle for this Sunday:
If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. (1 Peter 1:17-19, NRSV)
The futile ways that we have been ransomed or redeemed from are the “desires you formerly had in ignorance” (1:14) that are set against the command to be holy in all our conduct.
Jesus saved us, so we might be holy, free from the desires that drive us and distract us but never satisfy us. We are saved so we might have “genuine mutual love” not the false kindness or the exploitative exchanges of the marketplace — it is not what you know it is who you know — not the dehumanizing transactions that reduce other human beings to means to achieve our ends.
Against all this human way of striving is set the word of the Lord. The word of the Lord endures forever. It is the word of new birth and holiness and hope in the grace of Jesus Christ.
And so, Peter calls us to put away all malice, guile, insincerity, envy, and slander (2:1). As an application, today, I am reflecting on the ways that these non-godly kinds of speech and — as I am a blogger — writing attract me. Do I speak or write in these ways rather than out of love? Do I cherish the sense of power and the applause of other people that can be won by engaging in these kinds of talk? Or do I speak and write as one redeemed by the blood of Jesus?