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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16
What did Peter mean when he wrote these verses? Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have! I was listening to a Christian speak to someone about her faith and I was shocked at what was being spoken. The boy (non-Christian) challenged her (the Christian) on a few issues; like premarital sex, drinking, smoking, and tattoos. The girl got upset and begun to take things personal and get loud; she eventually walked away.
As I watched these two people argue, I remembered the above verses and suddenly realized the important message they convey. Many Christians these days get excited about living a sin-free life and going to Church and serving God, but they fail to learn about the God they serve and why they serve him. The only way you can truly be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have is to learn about it. Do your research and really learn about God through his word. Drench yourself in the word so that when people come and question you, you will be able to give them concrete answers and evidence of the reason for the hope that you have.
When you do come into contact with people that question you, speak to them with gentleness and respect so that they will not have anything to hold against you. The world is looking for Christians to fall and prove to be hypocrites, but Peter is urging you in verse 16 to do whatever it takes to ensure that this doesn’t happen. He is telling you to be godly in your response and all of your affairs so that your conscience will be clear and the world would have nothing to hold against you. If you do all of these and are still persecuted or slandered against, REJOICE!
Because “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”–Matthew 5:10-12
Stay blessed and spread the word.