A Gentle Defense
1 Peter 3:15 ESV
“…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
In a world of Twitter wars, internet trolls, and fake news, where it is easy to hide behind a keyboard and lob grenades of criticism at unsuspecting readers, the thought of defending one’s faith with gentleness is a foreign concept.
The words of Peter call us to be ready, to have answers for the hope within us; but in this caustic, jaded world, we are also challenged to give a defense without being defensive.
Friends, we can exegete every Scripture correctly, amass degrees that impress the most skeptical, and argue dissenters into a philosophical corner; but if we don’t infuse our defense with gentleness and respect, we will never change hearts and minds and lead people to Christ.
We can be so intent on proving our point that we forget that people are rarely (if ever) browbeaten and humiliated into the Kingdom.
So today, I challenge you to ask yourself, as I’m asking myself, are all my dealings with others hallmarked by gentleness and respect?
Are my words (from my keyboard or my lips) permeated with kindness and the realization that I am communicating with an individual who is also made in the image of God?
Do I care more about proving my point or about changing a heart with the good news of the gospel?
Am I more interested in His Kingdom or my own?
Will you join me in a renewed commitment to act and react with the gentleness that only comes as we abide in the Vine and bear His fruit?
Sonja Vernon, RN, BSN is the Vice President for Student Affairs at GBSC. She has been part of Student Affairs since 2000 and is passionate about working with college students.
She also speaks at women’s ministries and youth events.