Our Bible verse for today: “Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear …” 1 Peter 3:15-16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be the adult in the room”
The image that comes to our minds when we think of the Apostle Peter is usually one of a big gruff fisherman who was impetuous and a little volatile. Peter was the one who reprimanded Jesus for predicting His own death; he was also the one who drew a sword and chopped a man’s ear off in the Garden of Eden. Peter boasted that he would stand by Jesus, protect Him, and even die for Him, but he then, when the moment came, denied three times that he even knew Jesus.
Peter was big and boastful, a little mouthy, and definitely impulsive. So it’s a bit surprising that he’s the one who teaches us to tone down our rhetoric and to learn how to contend for Biblical truth in a kind and respectful way. That’s what he was teaching in 1 Peter 3:15-16 cited above.
In yesterday’s devotional I made the case that in this angry and divided society of ours, if we are going to live a life that’s grounded in the love of God, we will have to have our priorities in proper order. We need to be more focused on honoring God and building His kingdom than in promoting our favorite politician or political position. And, we need to do it in a kind and respectful way. We accomplish no good thing if we add to the angry and bitter rhetoric.
In 2018 I published a book about this. The title is “Getting Along Without Going Along: Biblical Sexual Ethics in An Age of Controversy and Conflict”. Although the primary focus of the book is sexual ethics, the overriding lesson is how to contend for Biblical truth with boldness and confidence, while at the same time treating others with respect and kindness. If you would like to have a copy of it, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When it comes to speaking truth boldly but kindly in the midst of an angry and bitter society, Christians should always be the adults in the room. If you are living a life that is grounded in the love of God, then you will help to make things better rather than adding to the problem with more nastiness.