‘Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation , and do not be troubled , but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. ‘ 1 Peter 3:13-16
The other night, in a bible study, the topic came up about how we respond when someone rejects what we testify to regarding Jesus Christ. This is such a challenging question that, if we are reaching out and pushing deeply as we are commanded, we will all face.
I have been thinking on this for the past few days as a result and went to scripture. No one wants to feel the sting of rejection or to feel as an outcast. That’s human nature. Aren’t we, though, supposed to be striving to rise above that nature and what one of the world desires and get uncomfortable? However, when challenged on our beliefs, no the knowledge we have in Christ, how we choose to respond is a slippery slope. I feel this passage in 1 Peter offers a fair measure of what is expected.
First, it is abundantly clear that we are to respond and give reason, justification in the hope that we know and to sanctify Jesus in our hearts.
Second, our response must be confident. For if we do not have confidence in what we testify, why would another be swayed to examination.
Third, our confident response must not be shrouded in arrogance. Instead it must be born from the love of Christ with gentleness and reverence.
And lastly, we must not worry or be afraid. We must act in obedience to the urging of the spirit and trust God that the outcome is just as He had designed. Ask yourself, why and what do I fear?
Be prepared to give the reason for the faith you have through God’s gifts of grace and knowledge. Prayerfully, in wisdom and discernment, address the moment that God has appointed to your attention and trust Him with the results. Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy