“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Pe. 3:15a NIV
This verse burst out in song like the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in my head. It played its melodious tunes over and over, as I was in the midst of a conversation this weekend. The conversation was somewhat of a role play scenario. We were talking and I had asked a simple, or so I thought, question. Perhaps simple was not really what it was when I began with the ever popular two words that sets up the stage – “what if.”
“What if someone came up to you and asked you – Who is Jesus to you. What would you say?”
Apparently the person I was talking to thought that would be the end of it. It wasn’t. The answer was simple, and comprised of two words; “God’s Son.” The answer was correct, yet did not tell me who Jesus was to the person. The question was personal in nature. As I asked for clarification and then went on to ask “why.” Answers were vague, and at a 30,000 feet level.
Having been a corporate trainer one of the questions I would ask frequently in class of my participants would be – What does that look like? Describe it. This requires much more detail, specifics, and examples.
Yet, that one sentence continued to belt out the tunes like a number one hit in pop music! And the first seven words was the chorus “Always be prepared to give an answer.” Are you prepared? Then – it turned to me. Am I prepared? Can you, or I, answer the question? “Who is Jesus to you?”
Allow me to present these three scenarios to you. Picture it:
#1 – A child is searching, seeking, and now curiosity has gotten the better of him/her. This child comes to you and asks you the question. This child is looking to you for an answer.
#2 – A teenager is struggling, seeking, and searching. This teenager has heard of Jesus, and is now face to face with you, and asks you the question. This teenager is looking to you for an answer.
#3 – An adult is facing difficulties, had a rough life, and/or is discontent. This adult has heard of Jesus, maybe even at one point “tried” church, yet still asks you the question. This adult is looking to you for an answer.
Are you prepared? What do you say? To answer the way God instructs means we have to get real, and personal. What!? Yes. You will have to share some of your personal experiences about Jesus. How He helped you. What He is doing right now in your life. Even when things look bleak – we know He is still there. So what do we say? Do we encourage, or discourage?
Anyone of those scenarios could involve people right in your sphere of influence: family, friends, co-workers, clients, or neighbors. From the young to the old. So let me ask again – Are you prepared?
The rest of verse fifteen God tells us what our attitude should be when we answer; “But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Pt. 3:15b NIV) When we answer to be gentle. Speak to their situation, and if we can relate then to share how Jesus helped us through it.
One of the biggest things I would see over and over with managers when I was coaching them on how to assess readiness levels in their employees was not to forget what we at one time didn’t know. What happens is we begin a new job, skill, trade, and when we master it we forget what it was like to be in the learning stage, and then expect everyone to be where we are. Minimal time around the curve, so you can speak at a 30,000 foot level. No specifics, just high level instructions.
Those of us that are Christians may we not forget that at one time, when we were seeking, searching, and perhaps feeling discontent that the person that helped us didn’t just tell us to “read the bible,” or “just go to church,” instead they took time out of their day, talked with us, and shared their life with us. They became an open book, an example, of who Jesus was to them.
Are you prepared to give an answer? If not, maybe some practice is in the forecast. This is for me also. Am I prepared?
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col. 4:6 NIV
Heavenly Father, I pray that those of us reading this that we are presented with the question at just the right time, given just the right words, and season our speech with salt. That we are fully prepared to give an answer to everyone, and may there be many, who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. In His name, Amen.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2015
*picture by hdw.eweb4