Fifth, we were “passing our days in malice and envy” (v. 3). The noun “malice” (kakia) means “dislike, ill will, hatefulness (TI 3.3), opposite κοινωνία (fellowship).” (Friberg) It refers to “a feeling of hostility and strong dislike, with a possible implication of desiring to do harm—‘hateful feeling.’” (Louw-Nida) Malice is hateful feeling toward others—the opposite of loving fellowship. Paul wrote, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice [kakia], slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” (Col. 3:8).
The noun “envy” (phthonos) means “in a negative sense envy, jealousy over the good success of another (MT 27.18).” (Friberg) Malice and envy are connected. Malice is hateful feeling while envy is its manifestation. (Ellicott) We were once living in malice and envy, writes Paul.
Sixth, we were once “hated by others” (v. 3). The Greek is stugetos—“loathsome; despicable.” (BAGD) Have you watched the movie, “Despicable Me”? That’s what the word “hated” means—“despicable” (NRSV). We were once despicable and detestable—hated by others.
The NKJV and NASB have “hateful”; and the ESV, “hated.” It can mean “hated” by others—in the passive sense. It can mean “hateful” of others—in the active sense. I think the translation—“hated by others” in the passive sense, fits the meaning of the term “despicable” and the context of being “detestable” (Tit. 1:16).
Have you behaved in a way that caused others to hate you? We once caused others to hate us. We were once despicable and detestable that people hated us.
Seventh, we were once “hating one another” (v. 3). Paul uses a different but synonymous word for “hating”—miseo. It means “to dislike strongly, with the implication of aversion and hostility—‘to hate, to detest.’” (Louw-Nida) We were hated by others. Then we responded in kind, hating others also. We were hated by others and hating others. Paul seems to say, “We received hate and we gave hate.” This is a mark of spiritual darkness (1 John 2:9).
This how we lived once, Paul said. We were slaves to our sinful nature and our sinful ways.