“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Ready to Give an Answer
(Please read 1 Peter 3:15-16)
Why do Christians act the way we do? Why do we go to church? Why do we give a portion of our hard-earned cash to the church? Why do we try to tell people how they should live? Have you been asked those questions, or similar ones related to your lifestyle?
Peter was asked about his faith as he stood before a religious court. He answered courageously even though he knew his answers could get him tossed into jail or even executed. When asked by what power he had healed a cripple, he stated clearly, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. . . . Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12, NIV). Peter later wrote the words of our text, not just to preachers but to all Christians.
If we don’t know what or why we believe, shame on us. But we don’t have to pose as scholars in answer to such questions, just answer to the best of our ability. And, oh yes, Peter said answer “with gentleness and respect.” It may be hard to respond cordially when we suspect the question is asked for purposes of entrapment instead of information. But such a suspicion is all the more reason to answer gently, as Jesus would.
A related truth is that even if people don’t ask, we are sharing our faith anyway, just by the way we live. In this way, too, our lights can shine brightly, bringing praise to our Father (see Matthew 5:14-16).