Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Be Ready

1 Peter 3:15-16
The Voice (VOICE)
15-16  Exalt Him as Lord in your heart.
 Always be ready to offer a defense,
humbly and respectfully,
when someone asks why you live in hope.
Keep your conscience clear
so that those who ridicule
your good conduct in the Anointed
and say bad things about you
will be put to shame.
 
I have been thinking about the concept of 1 Peter 3:15-16.
How it is a call to be prepared
and a call for bravery
Yet it also acknowledges the hurt others can cause
 
Doing the right thing
Standing up for what I believe
in a way that is humble and respectful
is what I think we all would hope we would do
 
But
the honest truth is..
sometimes when I find myself in a situation
where I am trying to defend my faith
defend God's word
defend...
 
I become defensive
which is not a humble and respectful stance
 
voices raise
lines are drawn in the sand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
feelings get hurt
misunderstanding reigns
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
and what was meant to be a conversation about
the things of God and how wonderful it is
to live in the light of His grace
gets twisted into something unrecognizable
 
How did I get here?
I wonder
I pray
and then
I know
 
My conscience. Was it clear?
God's word says to "keep my conscience clear".
Hmmm
I decided to look up the definition of conscience
to see what I was really dealing with.
Conscience:
  • Motivation deriving logically from ethical or moral principles that govern a person's thoughts and actions
  • The faculty, power, or inward principle which decides as to the character of one's own actions, purposes, and affections, warning against and condemning that which is wrong, and approving and prompting to that which is right; the moral faculty passing judgment on one's self; the moral sense.

Motivation
moral principles
passing judgment on one's self
moral sense

To me, when I read this line in 1 Peter,
 it is saying that before I even get myself into this situation
My heart and my thought life needs a good self check

If I find myself in defensive mode
that self check did not happen
I was not really as prepared as I thought I was for this conversation

Therefore, I should expect nothing less
than to be ridiculed and
for bad things to be said about me.
I deserve it.

Because I was defensive
instead of humbly and respectfully offering a defense
for the Lord, His ways and for the reason I have hope.

I also get it
and have experienced
having bad things said about me
even when I have done everything right.

When I have said things in love
When I have walked with a friend down a hard path
and yet my motivation is still questioned.
When I share God's word, gently, humbly, respectfully

It really hurts 
that is the truth of it

What can I do
When I do everything right
and things still get misunderstood and twisted?

I praise My Lord in my heart
I thank Him for my clear conscience
I feel no shame, for I did everything as I should have done
I pray for peace between me and whoever it is I am at odds with
I pray that my conscience continues to stay clear so that I am ready when the opportunity arrives to pick up where we last left off
I wait on the Lord who is bigger than all of this

That is all I can do

1 Peter 3:15-16
The Voice (VOICE)
15-16  Exalt Him as Lord in your heart.
 Always be ready to offer a defense,
humbly and respectfully,
when someone asks why you live in hope.
Keep your conscience clear
so that those who ridicule
your good conduct in the Anointed
and say bad things about you
will be put to shame.
 




   



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