But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.1 Peter 3:15-16
We are called to be ready to give the reason for the hope that we have. If someone asks about our good life, our good attitude, our good marriage or our good parenting, we are to use this as an opportunity to point people to the grace and love of God in Christ Jesus. And, using all the emotional intelligence we can muster, we are to do this with gentleness and respect.
The question for us is why would anyone ask? Are our lives marked with blessing, kindness, generosity, love and hope such that people would be curious about it?
Here are some practical ways to display the love of Christ:
- pay for the groceries of the person in front of you in the “20 items or less” checkout line
- leave a tip that is 50% or 100% of your bill
- help someone pick up their stuff after they’ve dropped it and made an embarrassing scene in a store
- encourage a parent who is struggling with the behavior of their child in public
- be the person who is immune to the cries of the baby on the flight and offer to help
- let someone else go first
- let someone use your umbrella in the rain
- tell someone that they are good at their job (especially in service industries)
If they ask why you are doing these things, be ready to give a reason for the hope that you have. Tell them that you’ve been changed by the love of Jesus and want others to know that they are loved by God. Keep it simple. Keep it personal. Don’t preach. Don’t sell the gospel. Simply live it and then speak it. Let God do the rest.