So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy,
jealousy, and all unkind speech.
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk
so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.
Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.
1 Peter 2:1-3 NLT
Production is important. It was for Mozart. At five, he wrote an advanced concerto for the harpsichord. At seven, he performed the most difficult compositions of Bach and Handel. At twelve, he composed his first opera.
Production is also important where profits are concerned. Not reaching a certain quota decreases a company’s profits and can put one’s job in jeopardy.
Most people want to live productive lives. Peter gives the necessary steps.
ELIMINATE SINFUL OR QUESTIONABLE PRACTICES
Peter tells us some of the production killing attributes believers should put aside.
First, malicious behavior. This is a feeling we have toward someone. It may be jealousy, or we may feel threatened by another person. It can even include hostility.
Second, deceit. This is the temptation to be dishonest in our dealings with others. Perhaps because of some personal interest or ambition, we try to get away with something.
Third, hypocrisy. This is being two-faced. It is proclaiming one thing but really living another.
Fourth, jealousy. This is resentful greed. It is wanting what others have and resenting them because they have it and you do not.
Finally, backstabbing. This may cover a wide area of things, but it specifically speaks of speaking evil of others. It is relaying to others things you know about people that might damage their reputation.
Our determination to put away sinful practices should be as intense as Billy Sunday’s—the great baseball evangelist and reformer. He stated, “I’m against sin. I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist. I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head. I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth. When I’m old and fistless and footless and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition.”
ADMIT OUR NEED
As Christians, we need the pure milk of God just as new babies need milk. The pure milk states that all are sinners, that salvation is found only in Jesus Christ, that we must repent of our sin and believe in what Jesus did on Calvary’s cross, that baptism is an outward symbol of what’s happened on our inside, that heaven awaits believers and hell unbelievers, and that one day our bodies will be resurrected.
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “To read the Bible is to take a trip to a fair land where the spirit is strengthened and faith renewed.”
Just as the infant ceases to depend on milk entirely and begins to eat solid food, so the child of God should not remain on the milk of God’s Word forever but go on to the deeper teachings. This is necessary to grow in our knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The grace of God experienced in our lives is not an excuse for laziness. Our salvation is a continual thing. We were saved in the past from the penalty of sin, we are being saved in the present from the power of sin, and we will be saved in the future from the presence of sin.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
God promises to bless us for our efforts. We should receive those blessings with joy, gladness, and humility. These blessings come in many ways: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Sometimes we get so busy we fail to recognize the blessings. Take time to stop and count your blessings.
The cure for an unproductive life is to eliminate sin, admit our need for Christ, pursue spiritual growth, and count our blessings.