A couple years ago I had my cholesterol level checked, and my doctor told me "Your cholesterol level is way too high." We talked about what I was going to do about it, and I told him I wasn't interested in taking any medications to lower my cholesterol. I wanted to do the "all natural" approach, even though I knew it would be much harder.
So I changed my habits. I changed the amount of exercise I do, and made significant changes in my diet. Now I eat far less fast food, far less fatty foods than I used to. And the good news is that, in the last two years, my cholesterol has dropped 27 points. I still have a little way to go, but that's definite progress.
Changing my diet has really changed the way that I "taste" food. I used to love really greasy foods. Now, however, after being careful to avoid greasy foods, my appetite has changed. If I have a pepperoni pizza, I find myself thinking "Wow! This tastes really greasy!" It's not that pizzas are any more greasy now than they were two years ago; it's just that my appetites have changed because of the kinds of foods I put into my system.
This change of appetite can happen spiritually as well:
Just as my physical appetites have changed from fatty foods to more healthy foods, our spiritual appetites can change as well. We are supposedto have an appetite for the Word of God, just like a little baby has an appetite for their mother's milk.
Unfortunately, our appetite changeswhen we start tasting of other things which aren't as healthy. What are some of the spiritual "fatty foods" that are unhealthy, and change our appetite away from God's healthy food?
Malice. Deceit. Hypocrisy. Envy. Slander. When we indulge these unhealthy spiritual appetites, it destroys our appetite for God's word, and ultimately means that we will never grow up spiritually.
So Peter says: "Put these things aside!" As long as you let any of these things into your spiritual diet, you will never be healthy, and you will never grow to maturity.