Malice Needs Nothing to Live On

A clear and forceful reminder comes by way of Ray Ortlund's excellent blog:
“Malice needs nothing to live on; it can feed on itself. A contentious spirit will find something to quarrel about. A faultfinder will find occasion to accuse a Christian even if his life is as chaste as an icicle and pure as snow. A man of ill will does not hesitate to attack, even if the object of his hatred be a prophet or the very Son of God Himself. If John comes fasting, he says he has a devil; if Christ comes eating and drinking, he says He is a winebibber and a glutton. Good men are made to appear evil by the simple trick of dredging up from his own heart the evil that is there and attributing it to them.”

A. W. Tozer, We Travel An Appointed Way (Camp Hill, 1988), page 82.

When negativity about someone else pours out of our mouths, could we be exposing, without realizing it, our own evil? If that irony dawns on us, we are ready to hear the gospel at a deeper level. We are ready to see God’s wrath unleashed not against the person we despise, nor against us, but against Christ on the cross. And then we are ready to become humble about ourselves and merciful toward the other sinner.

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