But in your hearts set apart 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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16
Have you ever met a Christian who was prepared to correct everyone around them but didn’t have gentleness or respect for those who disagree? In an age of reality TV we have lost the art of respectfully disagreeing. One of the things that I have come to realize is that it’s my job to answer those around me who ask about Christ, but it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to win their hearts. This keeps me from taking on the pressure to be right or win the argument. We can win the battle but lose the war for someone’s soul. Sometimes the greatest statement is how we endure ridicule or slander. Remember Jesus, who when He was slandered didn’t retaliate. Sometimes it’s our suffering that becomes our greatest witness.
Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org
What a great scripture and this preacher's commentary is right on. Respectfully disagreeing is a lost art in today's world. It's probably a lost art in my world. I still harbor great anger toward some people who ridiculed and slandered me. I have great THOUGHTS of retaliation for things people have done to me. If I followed Jesus example, I would put those thoughts away as He often explained that our thoughts can rule us if we let them. God grants us the ability through him to release our disagreement in a gentle and respectful way with a clear conscience. May God clear my conscience and bless me with better gentleness in the future.