15 "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 (ESV)
I really don't like offending people, especially people close to me. But the longer I am close to Jesus, the bigger my desire grows for people to know the truth.
But, if you're at all like me, you want to tiptoe around it, feel the other person out, agree as much as possible while still inserting correction in the lightest way possible, sometimes sacrificing the truth altogether.
Maybe you're nothing like me; maybe you could care less if you offend someone, maybe sometimes to a fault? Well, there has got to be a middle ground somewhere in the Bible. Let's take a look.
“And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 (ESV)
This is the truth. There is only one true God, and He has a Son named Jesus who was sent to us to save us. There is no tiptoeing around that! There is no circumstance that would make this truth not important for someone to hear.
“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 (ESV)
We are always to be prepared to make a defense, BUT we can do it with gentleness and respect, all at the same time.
Athlete, there is our middle ground. You can be bold and share with people you know and come in contact with about the hope you have in Jesus, and you can do it with gentleness and respect. Don't worry, God's Spirit will be with you and empowering you the whole time!
Reflection: How many people in your life know you are a Christian? How many people in your life do you know who are not Christians? Where do you fall on the spectrum: scared to offend, or you could care less if you offend someone?
Challenge: List three people you can be intentional, gentle, respectful and bold with in sharing Jesus. Ask God to empower you with His Spirit, then share with them.