“…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…”
1 Peter 3:15
This is an utterly simple command of Peter, and one I think we take for granted. In many areas of life we assume we know what is needed. We assume we’ve got something under control or that we know “how to take it from here.” But when we finally are out in the position to reveal what we know, to put our learning into practice and take off the training wheels, only then do we realize our deficiencies.
I almost know the lyrics to countless songs. Pop songs and hymns, bubble gum oldies and classic rock, contemporary Christian and country. I know them when I sing along. I do not know the lyrics well enough to sing on my own, which is embarrassingly revealed as I stumble through half-remembered lines when I’m singing around the house. I overestimate my knowledge and it an example of the behavior that leads us to think we know, really know, more than we do.
Getting back to Peter’s call to us, we all can pick answers about our faith if it were a multiple choice quiz. But if we are asked about the hope that we have, can we give a response? Can we clearly communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ? Can we do so on the spot, without help (except by the Spirit)?
I hope reading though God’s Word helps you prepare yourself. Peter tells us in plain language to be prepared, so what is stopping us? This story of Jesus Christ is the good news for the world and our only hope. If we don’t share his story, who will? It is not only beneficial for the hearer, but when we know more about the hope we have, it will only strengthen our own belief, too.
If you’re interested in working on your ability to communicate the gospel, let me know. I’ll always make time for that. I even have some resources from a recent class that has some visuals to help us learn, remember, and communicate Jesus that I’m happy to pass along. I’ll try to remember once I get back in town to post some to our site.