Stop the Decay
Be Gentle and Respectful – Part 2
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-17
Key Verse: 1 Peter 3:15
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.
Once we make Jesus Lord of our lives, we will be able to influence others in a gentle and respectful way, as our printed key verse instructs us to do! Jesus, as our Lord, will never lead us to influence someone in a rough shod way, pushing them in disrespectful ways. Jesus called people to follow Him; He never pushed them. Jesus won people by His gentle and kind ways. Even when rejected, Jesus didn’t revert to retaliation or being disrespectful. Jesus understood that true power and influence was never achieved by force or antagonism.
As we believers live in this wicked world, it is easy to adapt to this world’s ways; to respond the way an unbeliever would. If Jesus is not proclaimed Lord over our responses, we will make a mess of our Christian witness to a needy world. We need to remind ourselves that it is normal for sinners to talk and act like sinners. We also need to remind ourselves that it is not normal—if we truly are trying to follow Jesus—for us believers to talk and act like sinners. Making Jesus Lord will be the key for us to treat sinners with gentleness and respect. We don’t love their sins, but we must learn to get beyond their sins to love them, because God loves them. Yes, we must be ready to give a reason for our hope—as Peter wrote, but we must give that reason saturated with gentleness and respect.
Father, as my Lord, I will trust and obey your inner voice that helps me to respond to people as I should. In Jesus’ name, amen.