Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9
But in your hearts revere 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
Scroll through your Facebook newsfeed. Yes, I'm giving you permission to push pause on this devotional and head over to social media. Don't worry...I'll wait.
Alright, now that you're back, I want to ask you a question: what did you notice? I don't know about you, but when I scanned the posts from my family and friends, it felt like a perpetual marketplace full of advertisements.
Everyone was trying to sell me something. For some, they were trying to convince me (and everyone else) to subscribe to their political beliefs. Others wanted the world to know about the Netflix show they just binged watched. My inbox gets flooded with invitations to join people's business pages.
Now hear me out...there's nothing wrong with this. It's only natural; after all, people love to love things. And it's also true, that people love to let everyone know about the object of their affection. We will go on and on about a great movie, catchy song, silly YouTube video or even our mid-level marketing business.
But, when it comes to our faith we either hesitate and keep our mouth shut or we treat sharing our faith like an infomercial or a debate we must win. The Gospel isn't a sales pitch. Neither is salvation a system or formula.
Many of us halt in our tracks, unsure of how to give hope and express why we placed our trust in Christ. Whether it is based on the fear of offending someone or not being able to give the "right" answers, we hesitate in sharing our faith. In the back of our minds, evangelism is reserved for the "professional" Christians who have seminary degrees. They are the only ones who can tackle any and all theological arguments in their quest to "convince" someone of their need for God.
But, here's the thing: we're not in the convincing business; we're in the loving people and doing life with others business. Our mindset needs to change from TEACHING salvation to SHARING the Good News.
Imagine the impact we could have if we fussed less about trying to convince people about the consistent love of God and instead showed the consistent love of God through our words and actions. What if we poured all our energy into simply living distinct lives centered on humility, love, and grace?
True change causes people to take notice of God working in your life. The message that speaks volumes to family and friends is our lives impacted by Christ's love. Our hope made visible is what causes people to stop scrolling through all the lesser options of fulfillment, and security the world markets and consider the only way that leads to true hope and a full life.
How are you living out the hope you've experienced in Christ?
God, may I live a life that speaks to the hope I have found in You. I desire to respond to the world around me with quiet confidence rooted in the grace that transformed me from the inside out. I will display boldness and courage in my relationships and share the unshakable hope that Your grace and forgiveness provide. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.