13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’ 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Pet 3:13-16
I enjoyed my days as a Cub Scout where I really learnt a lot. One of the memories of being one were running together (sometimes in the bush) and chanting the Cub Scouts’ motto over and over again: “Be prepared is our motto! Be prepared is our motto”. Today’s passage commands us to always be prepared. We can be assured that at some point someone is going to ask us why we have hope or why we are Christians or something along those lines. When that moment comes, that will not be the time to start figuring out what you are going to say. We need to be prepared.
Each of us needs to have a gospel-packed response that’s ready to share with anyone who asks us why we believe or why we have hope or why they should believe. In business you are encouraged to have an elevator speech ready; should you find the perfect opportunity to speak to someone during an elevator ride, you will not have enough time to think about what to say – you may only have 30 seconds to give them your pitch.
It’s worth writing down your gospel-centred response and memorising it so that you are prepared and ready!
You will also notice from today’s passage that our preparedness is not just in words, but also affects our lives and the way we live them. It includes doing good and behaving good in Christ. It’s a bit like being prepared for when someone is watching your life to see what you are like and made of. We should endeavour to have every moment lived right and in a way that points to our wonderful Saviour, Jesus.
As St Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times and where necessary, use words”.