Are You Ready to Defend Your Faith? (1 Peter 3:15)
By: Betsy St. Amant Haddox
Today’s Bible Verse: ...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. - 1 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV)
Nobody makes a better lawyer than a teenager. Upon hitting puberty, most kids seem to become gifted with the ability to argue like the most promising of attorneys. They always have a reason for the chore that wasn’t done, the curfew that was broken, or the rule that bent. While parents can laugh about it—or cry!—during those tough, transitional years, there’s actually a solid lesson to be learned from their example.
Our kids are almost always ready to give a defense for their decisions or mistakes—but are we ready to give as passionate a defense for our faith?
Peter writes in 1 Peter 3 that we, as believers, as to honor Christ in our hearts as holy. Immediately after, he instructs us to be prepared to give a defense to anyone who asks for the reason for the hope that is in us. That leads me to draw a few things from this text:
1. Honoring Christ in our own hearts as holy is the crucial first step. Without this, we aren’t ready to give a reason for our hope, because we don’t have any hope to share. We first must honor Christ and hold Him in the highest regard inside ourselves before we’re ever going to be equipped to share the Gospel.
2. We must live in a way that reflects that we are hopeful. This isn’t blatantly spelled out in the text, but just like we logically can’t share a hope we don’t possess, we can’t expect anyone to ask us about it if we aren’t living it out. We must be different in order to seem different and be approached about why.
3. We can expect persecution. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the end of these verses points out when we are slandered. Not if. We all want that success story—someone approaching us about being different, us, in turn, sharing our faith and the reason for our hope, and leading that inquiring heart to the Lord. What a win! But realistically, more often than not, we’ll be teased or ridiculed for our hope and for believing the Gospel that we share. Peter recognized that and warned the church accordingly. Knowing that we’ll most likely at some point face teasing or even persecution doesn’t give us an excuse to shrink back, but rather, should inspire us to be ready to defend.
Just like our children are typically ready to make a defense at any given moment, we too must be prepared to share our faith via a solid knowledge of the Scriptures, a personal testimony of faith, and a heart in clear communication with the Holy Spirit. It’s not our job to convert hearts—it's our job to be ready to give a defense. What do you need to do today to be prepared?
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of more than fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her hero of a hubby, two total-opposite young daughters, a vast collection of coffee mugs, and an impressive stash of Pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she’s not sweating it out at Camp Gladiator or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha—no whip. Look for her latest novel with Revell, The Key to Love in bookstores everywhere. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com.
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