Respond With Gentleness


by Martin Luther

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. (1 Peter 3:15)

When you’re challenged or asked about your faith, you shouldn’t respond arrogantly. You shouldn’t be defiant or forceful, as if you were tearing trees out of the ground. Rather, you should respond with fear and humility, as if you were standing before God and answering him. If you were summoned before kings and princes and had prepared yourself well in advance with Scripture, you might think, "Just wait; I’ll answer correctly." But the devil will grab the sword out of your hands and give you a shove. You will be disgraced and find out you put your armor on in vain. He can even take your best verses from your hands so that you can’t use them, even though you have them memorized. God allows this to happen to subdue your arrogance and make you humble.

So if you don’t want this to happen, you must stand in fear and not rely on your own power. Rely instead on what Christ promised: "But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you" (Matthew 10:19-20). When you have to give an answer, you ought to arm yourself with Scripture. But don’t pound it home with a proud spirit. Otherwise, God will tear the verse from your mouth and from your memory, even if you were armed with all the verses beforehand. Therefore, caution is needed here. But if you are prepared, you can answer princes, leaders, and even the devil himself. Just make sure you aren’t speaking insignificant human words but the Word of God.

From Faith Alone – A Daily Devotional – James C. Galvin General Editor

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