First Peter 3:15 commands all Christians to stand up for the truth and defend the hope of the gospel. It also commands that this be done with “gentleness and respect.” Unfortunately, there is something about defending the truth that can quickly deteriorate into heated arguments, belittling statements, and insulting remarks. It shouldn’t. God expects his ambassadors to stay in control of their emotions and maintain a godly decorum that is worthy of our stately King.
Christ’s victory is already settled. His triumphant return is not dependent on our frenzied quarrels. The truth is settled. Christ has already won. Our objective is to provide dignified and respectful corrections to those who call his truth into question. While our emotional disturbance is understandable when people malign our God, the Spirit’s goal in our speech is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness and self-control” (Gal.5:22-23).
It may seem paradoxical, but we are called to fight for the truth gently and respectfully. So don’t get out there and attempt to defend Christ’s honor in a dishonorable way. Keep your cool, and let your defense be seasoned with the courtesy and dignity that befits God’s royal family.
-- Pastor Mike
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