Do others ask about your behavior? So, what would you say to everyone who asks? Does your desire to follow Jesus cause you to do things others wouldn’t do? Do you ever “go the extra mile,” or “turn the other cheek,” which are both commands Jesus made in Matthew chapter 5?
This is part 5 in our series on full time faith from 1 Peter 3:15. We’ve gone out of order. Here’s our verse:
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
John chapter 13 begins with Jesus removing his outer garment, taking a towel and some water, and washing the feet of the 12 disciples without saying a word. Imagine how everyone felt. Previously, they would have eaten together hundreds of times. I expect they seldom had their feet washed because each disciple was more interested in their position in the new kingdom. No one wanted to be the servant. But Jesus became their most-lowly servant at his final Passover meal.
I imagine each disciple experienced confusion, conviction, and embarrassment.
People Will Notice
When we serve others outside of our job description, people will notice. We naturally look out for ourselves. When someone does their job well, we think they desire to advance their career. Once we have completed our urgent tasks, we might help someone else if that help isn’t difficult or expensive. Our help just can’t cost us too much.
But when someone serves others at an unreasonable expense, or effort, people notice. For example, if you stay late or come early to help someone who wasn’t expecting it, they wonder. If you put others ahead of yourself, people will question. Some will turn their curiosity into a question.
Everyone Who Asks
God expects us to answer everyone who asks. If others don’t ask, we shouldn’t speak. We appear arrogant or insensitive if we speak about our faith without being asked. Everyone who asks deserves an answer. But, everyone else needs a humble, hopeful, helpful friend.
Please don’t show off. Our eternal hope becomes visible in our natural actions. Our Savior becomes visible because we act according to our eternal hope.
Speak Up When Asked
We give a reason to everyone who asks. When others ask; speak. If they don’t ask, keep quiet and trust God. Do not force God into your conversations or manipulate your conversation toward religion. We are free to serve others and trust that God will use our actions to prompt others to ask. And when they ask, then we can give our reasons.
Live so that others will ask. Serve others and wait for God to prompt them to ask. Their question is your opportunity to further honor God with your words. But you won’t get to talk to others about Jesus much if you don’t live like you follow him.
And please check out the other posts in this series, starting with Part 1.