Answering in Gentleness
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16 NIV
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this verse. Pastors and teachers use this verse to talk about knowing your facts. How else can you be ready to give an answer? However, in our quest to have an answer we have forgotten how we are supposed to give our answer: with gentleness and respect.
We have come to believe that we need persuasive arguments to win people to faith. However, if you ask most believers (there are some rare exceptions) they were not argued to faith, they were loved into a relationship with Christ.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 NIV
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ we do need to have answers ready, we do need to know the facts, but we need to work even harder at obeying the only new command Christ gave us; loving others. It is our way to show his love to the world, to shine his light into a world that desperately needs it. We need to stop just spouting off facts, as if that is what our faith was based on, but acting out our faith.
Sharing our faith starts with walking the walk. If people see that we are living out our faith, they will ask. When they ask, we can be ready to share with them about them hope within us in gentleness and respect.
Let’s set the world on fire! Let’s walk the walk, not just talk the talk.