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Be Ready…But Be Kind

WOW, there is so much packed into this one little verse – so much!

1 Peter 3:15   But in your hearts revere 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,  

SO MUCH!

This verse hit me because we are heading into the political season – and it always gets ugly. I have been caught up in it before, and it shames me to think of it.

Does God want us debating and getting all political?  I don’t know, to be honest.  I think maybe He creates some of us to do that, and others not so much.  I may be in the not so much category, since I seem to have a rough time with the gentleness part – HAHA!

However, this verse is applicable all day, every day!

Let’s break it down a bit – But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.

I love this – revere Christ as Lord.  There are some translations that use the word sanctify.  Here are some words from the Greek translation for sanctify:  render, hallow, consecrate or dedicate to God, to purify by the renewing of the soul.

There is more, it seems, to sanctifying or revering Christ than just showing honor to Him, although that certainly is a part of it.  It also requires us to continually be dedicating ourselves to Him and purifying ourselves by renewing our minds.  The only way to renew our minds it to set them on Him – though His holy word and prayer.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

This part is interesting because it assumes we always have a HOPE – but we do not always act as if we do.  I can imagine the times I walk around looking hopeless – what a shame!  If I walk around looking full of hope, full of joy, full of peace, people are going to ask!  Then, we can give them the answer! Jesus Christ! HE should be our whole hope and complete reason!

As single parents, we can REALLY cause people to ask!  The world supposes we are destitute, sad, feeling abandoned and heartbroken.  We should be exhausted.  We should be frazzled.  We should be hanging by a thread.  However, God is our husband, and HE will take care of us!  We can walk around this world as dearly loved wives!  We can be confident!  We can feel cherished!  We can put our hope in Him and be satisfied!

If we, as single parents, walk around like this, what an amazing testimony it would be!  We depend solely on Him!  We allow His provision to shine through in our lives!

I think this verse also holds true for any type of debatable topic – our hope is also in the Word of God, and we should be ready to share it!  How do we do that?  Well, we have to read and memorize scripture – we want it in our hearts and on our minds, so we can speak His Word whenever the need arises.  We need to have our answers ready. I have a long way to go with that!  Of course, our answers should always be grounded in the Word, not in the world – and that is where the next part of the verse comes in…

But do this with gentleness and respect,  

THIS!  Gentleness and Respect.  Actually, one of the translations says with gentleness and FEAR!  Fear?  Why fear?  Perhaps because we are treading on some very delicate ground.  When someone asks us, and we are sharing our reasons by using the Word of God and our testimony of His goodness and mercy in our lives, we are witnessing.  We all too often forget that people’s SOULS are at stake.  We want to be RIGHT!  We want to show them that we are right and they are wrong!  But that is not what God wants.  HE clearly wants us to use His word and the testimony of how He has shown us mercy and grace, and to tell the person of Jesus.  However, He wants us to speak with gentleness.  It is easy to get angry when someone scoffs at our beliefs.  Today’s culture is all about arguing, name calling, and trying to one up the other person in debatable topics.  God makes it clear to us – that is not how He wants His people to act.  We need to remember that we need a certain element of fear – not OF the other person, but FOR them – for their soul.

So, our answers should be gentle, and they should be filled with His word.  We should use any opportunity as a chance to witness.  We want to be full of hope – not anger.  Full of hope – not hatred, or ugly words.  We want to be full of hope, ready to share His word with anyone, and to do so in a beautiful, gentle way that causes others to want what we have.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.   – Philippians 4:5

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