13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15But 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, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
1 Peter 3:13-16
It seems to me that I must be able to express my personal reason for the hope I have in Christ in a clear and concise statement that will be received as an invitation to those who hear the words. As I wrestle with distilling the words from lengthy apologetic arguments, I realize this may not be one simple statement, but rather a collection of simple statements that are tailored for different circumstances.
The need for brevity is demanded by our current culture of sound-bites and news media headlines that grab the attention of those who are looking for something provocative. Thus, there is great risk in looking for simple sentences, but I must have faith that the Holy Spirit will do his work if I would do my part.
Lord, we who profess to be followers of Christ have a hope that is difficult to explain at times. Help us to put this hope into words that lead others to Christ, that create meaningful conversations. Grant us favor in this endeavor as we work to increase your kingdom.