Last week we saw that in the beginning of 1 Peter 3, Peter's main concern is that no matter what his readers are going through, the goal is to point people to Christ. This will happen in their marriages as believing wives and husbands love and respect their non-believing spouses, as brothers and sisters in Christ care for each other, and as they do good and bless others, especially the non-believers who are persecuting them. In today's passage, Peter gives more instruction in what to do when they face opposition, how to respond to it and why they should respond in the way that they do.
Peter's first instruction is simply: do good! (1 Peter 3:13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.)
Sometimes in our zeal to share the good news, we stop being good people. But if we want to be able to share the good news, we need to be good news. Peter encourages his readers to be a blessing in their families, in their workplaces and in their community.
Secondly, Peter tells his readers how to respond to those who oppose them. (1 Peter 3:15-16 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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.)
What I'd like to highlight in this verse is Peter's statement "to everyone who asks." In many commentaries, they emphasize that believers need to be prepared to defend the faith, to give answer. And just as many emphasize that it needs to be done with gentleness and respect. While I wholeheartedly agree with both points, if we forget that part of the reason why they should be prepared to give an answer is that people are asking them the reason for the hope that they have.
Do believers live their lives in a way that non-believers ask about that hope? Or do non-believers sometimes feel like evangelism targets and objects of judgement?
Lastly Peter tells his readers even if they do good and share about the hope that they have, they may still get persecuted. But in a way it is an honor because "Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." (1 Peter 3:18)
This week, will you take courage and do good in the name of Christ? Will you live a life of hope in the good news and be a good news person? Will you equip yourself to be able to answer everyone who asks the reason for the hope that you have?