A while back, I was caught by surprise, but learned something very important, so let me share it with you. I was shopping at my favorite butcher shop when the butcher asked: “could I ask you a personal question?” I have always exchanged pleasantries with this guy, but now he had a serious question. I said “sure.” He asked; “Where do you get your source of happiness…you are always smiling.”
I knew exactly where I get my source of happiness and joy, but I was caught off guard. So I gave him a lame answer; “Happiness is a choice…I choose to be happy.” I could tell he was disappointed in my answer.
Wow, so was I. Did that really just pop out of my mouth? It was as if someone was asking me if I know Jesus, and I was denying my association with Jesus. I can’t believe I was being like Peter and denying my Lord so blatantly.
A few days following that encounter I was reading 1 Peter and came across 3:15 where we are instructed to always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. I went back to the butcher the next day and told him that I didn’t give him the quality response that his question deserved. I told him in front of listening customers that my happiness and joy comes from living within the hope and promise of salvation…the salvation made possible by Jesus Christ. I told him I was a struggling Christian, and then I asked him about his relationship with God.
It’s rare for someone to ask such a direct question of us, but when they do, scripture tells us to be ready. We are more ready when we see God in all things. You see I am trying to grow my awareness, my spiritual radar, to see God in all aspects of my life, 24/7. When we only connect with Him on Sunday, or before meals, or when we really need His help during stormy times, then we will only see Him as a small accessory in our life. The reality, He is our life and in all facets of our life. We can’t escape Him, nor would we ever want to.
Today, think how you might respond when someone asks you the reason for the hope within you. Can you articulate to yourself the impact your faith and God’s actions have in your daily, moment-to-moment living. This is what we need to show and tell others. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father, I come to you with a thankful heart. I recognize Your Son, Jesus Christ, as my Lord and I trust Him for the strength I so desperately need to lead a God-pleasing life. Help me, Lord, to not be speechless when called upon to defend my faith and to spread Your message of forgiveness, faith, love and hope. Help me do so with gentleness and respect. Help me, Lord, to be a lighthouse for those in need. I pray with the authority granted to me through Jesus Christ; and all God’s people said – AMEN!
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
1 Peter 3:15