And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15 NLT
At 7:15 in the morning, any answer I have is fuzzy.
As I walked through the neighborhood we once lived in, a man stopped his car and waited for me to approach.
“You’re a preacher, aren’t you?” he asked.
“I want to ask you a question. Now I’ve asked several ministers and other people, and so far no one has been able to give me an answer,” he said.
Now I was worried. He had tried the question on others. Even on people who knew the Bible well. Why did he think I’d be able to give him an answer? And though I’m a morning person, I didn’t know if my brain was in theological mode.
As it turned out, the question he posed was legitimate and one I’d pondered myself. The trouble was, it was a question the Bible doesn’t answer clearly. Speculation abounds. I gave him my conclusion, we kicked around the various answers for a few minutes, and he went on his merry way. When he pulled off, I thought about what Peter said.
The answers I should always be ready to give must be based on truth. In our current generation, truth is flexible, slippery, and maybe even subjective to many folks—especially the Millennials. Regardless of what a person might think, the Bible proclaims that it contains truth. Truth when it was first spoken and written and truth now. And truth for people from all cultures, races, and nationalities.
Being ready to give an answer takes effort. I have to think, ponder, meditate, formulate, and investigate. And once I’ve formulated, I have to periodically refresh my memory so that my answers stay in my long-term memory.
I have to get ready ahead of time. My episode was proof of that. Had I not gotten ready prior to the encounter, I couldn’t have provided any answer at all—or at least not one that was clear. What he wanted to know, I’d already investigated.
My answers should also be given with love and kindness. People who are searching don’t want a tongue lashing or a Bible beating. They want spiritual truth, but they want it delivered with love, not legalism or pride.
So be ready to profess and defend your faith. You never know when the opportunity to do so will arise.
Prayer: Father, arm us with Your truth so we can answer those who ask about our hope.