1 Peter 3:13-17
“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.” vss. 15b-16a
The people Peter was addressing were living in turbulent times and their situation was quite different from ours. Believers were very much a minority group and regularly faced questions and even persecution from their adversaries. Peter advises patience in suffering but also a boldness in responding. And then he adds a phrase that could be useful for us. “Do it with gentleness and reverence,” he says, and we need to pay attention. We do occasionally have opportunities to have faith conversations with others and we should not be shy about sharing what we believe and describing the hope that faith gives us. But sometimes those exchanges get out of hand–religious differences can bring deep animosities to the surface and even rupture relationships. There’s a tendency to express faith convictions in strong and forceful ways–even when none of us have concrete proof for what we are saying. We’re passionate and quick to slide into making distorted claims in defense of our positions. Such debates are seldom helpful and often divisive. How good it would be if we could be gentle in our conversations–and show reverence for those having contrary opinions. We’re all just doing our best in this complicated world to make sense of life, and it’s wonderful when our thoughts can be helpful to others–and the kinder we are, the more likely it is that this will happen!
Thought for the Day: Why is religion a forbidden topic for conversation in some homes?