When WHAT you say isn’t all that matters

Yesterday we talked about thinking very intentionally about coming up with the reason for the hope that you have within you.

The reason we did this is because of 1 Peter 3:15 that says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

It’s like our society is in the Yukon panning for something valuable. All people keep coming up with in their sifters is cynicism. Huge chunks of hope are coveted—but in short supply.

In light of that you should (a) be prepared for when others ask you about your faith, and (b) identify the reason for the Christian hope that is within you.

But when you identify the reason for the hope that is in you, and when you share it with someone else, it’s important to do it in a way that increases the likelihood of it being noticed at all: “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

It’s a warning against aggression and arrogance. Sometimes it’s not just WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.

When you speak about the reason for your hope, gently share your views while respecting the fact that others may disagree or think differently.

Arrogance and aggression close doors; gentleness and respect open them.

A lot of people are nervous about saying anything about their faith. They’re worried about not being able to defend their views or that they need to turn someone into a full-fledged disciple of Jesus in a 2-minute conversation.

But be at peace. Your job isn’t to always hit a home run; it’s simply to step up to the plate.

Know the reason for the hope that you have. Be prepared to share it when asked. And do it in a winsome way.

Arrogance and aggression close doors; gentleness and respect open them.

By Matthew Ruttan

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