vv 8-9. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, MALICIOUS BEHAVIOUR, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
Malicious Behaviour is premeditated and planned action designed to hurt or embarrass another person. The victim in our reading today is Joseph; his brothers hated him and planned to dispose of him somehow. They first considered murdering him, then leaving him in a pit to die, and finally got round to selling him to the passing traders to be a slave. The brothers were schemers; they wanted to get their own way by hook or by crook regardless of the anguish that their father might feel. Then of course they had to lie to their father to try to explain Joseph’s disappearance. How often one sin leads to another to try to cover up guilt!
This kind of scheming goes on in business to either get promotion or some competitive advantage; it goes on in families when there is ill-feeling between siblings; it even goes on in Rugby – think sly digs in the scrum.
And if you find yourself thinking about how you can get revenge … quit!
All such premeditated and hurtful action is covered in this instruction.