1 Peter 3:15-16 (New Revised Standard Version) M. Doerr
Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.
These are legal and accounting words: “make your defense” and “make an accounting”. They sound like we are going to have to protect ourselves from some accusation or another when our faith comes up for discussion. Life is increasingly this way, however. Living according to the teachings of Jesus becomes more counter-cultural every day. I hope this becomes good news for those of us who follow him. It gives us a wonderful opportunity to share our faith with our neighbors in a meaningful way. No longer is it about what church someone attends or about convincing or arguing someone into the family of God. Instead, it is sharing with a friend, or a neighbor, or even a family member the importance of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. “Always be prepared . . . yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” Speak about your faith with gentleness and show respect (reverence) not just for God but for the one you are sharing with. Our generosity and welcoming of others will be an important part of God at work in the heart of that person or those people with whom we share. This is so much more like a friendly conversation than it is like courtroom testimony, isn’t it?