“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15b).
When was the last time someone asked you to give a reason for the hope you have? Someone that inquired into why you love the way you do, why you’re so sympathetic, compassionate and humble?
If you’re like me, this doesn’t happen a lot. Scratch that, I can’t remember the last time it happened. But if I’m reading 1 Peter 3 correctly, it sure seems like a chunk of this chapter is dedicated toward coaching me about how to respond—how to communicate—in the midst of inquisition, persecution, suffering and evil.
So if I know how to respond, the only way to practice flexing this muscle is to get in the game. Put me in, coach! Yet how many of us, myself included, continue to hide behind our responsibilities, talents and “calling,” rarely confronted by the evil out there? This must change.
I’m convinced that the more you and I (and the people in our churches) are asked about the hope we have within, the better we’ll be able to communicate to our communities. We’ll spend less time fighting over fonts, colors and photos, and more time figuring out how to get people inquiring about the audacity of our hope.
I imagine the inquiries into our hope will come primarily when the protagonist (hope-filled) is confronted with the antagonist (hope-deferred). Without this collision, there would be no conflict. Without conflict, there is no story. And without a story, there is little need for Photoshop.
So let’s get out there and listen for the question… Why are you so hopeful?