“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.” ~ I Peter 3:15-16
Today started out kind of topsy-turvy for my drama students.
Instead of launching into our blocking at rehearsal, I sat them down and gave them a modified version of a speech I give every show. It’s known as the “Friday Night Talk” and it has become somewhat infamous among my drama kids. When we do a play, we perform Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. And for whatever reason, Friday’s performance is usually the weakest (if not the worst) performance. I have found, however, that if I give them a speech that scares them to pieces about how terrible they could do if they don’t pay attention, the kids tend to focus more and deliver an incredible performance. In fact, the older students will actually ask to make sure I am giving this speech, because they know it works.
However, it’s September and our performances aren’t until November, on top of that, it’s Tuesday and not Friday. So why the speech? Well, I realized that a lot of them were counting on the lead actors to carry the weight of the play for everybody else. Which can work, in a lot of shows. However, we’re doing “Peter Pan,” which means just about everyone in the world knows the story. Hence, the audience will be watching all the little details, since they already know the storyline. So I gave my students a big talking-to in order to help them realize that every single person needs to be working just as hard as the leads are in this play. That no one can slack off and assume that they won’t be noticed. That each student needs to be ready to give their best performance ever, no matter how many or how few lines they have.
And it made me think about how accountable our actions are as Christians. A lot of times, we assume that if we aren’t pastors or missionaries we don’t really need to have all the answers and we don’t need to worry about whether or not people are paying attention to us. We think that we can go about our day, doing whatever we want, and our actions are inconsequential. However, we couldn’t be more wrong!
According to today’s verses in I Peter, as Christians we must always be prepared to give an answer to people who ask us about our faith. And I’m betting that Peter doesn’t mean an answer full of Christian-speak. To be prepared to give an answer suggests that time has been taken to really think about and develop what you will say to someone who asks you about Christ. And in order for people to be asking these questions, they need to see something in our lives that tells them that we have something different, something they don’t have and Someone they need.
Don’t ever assume that just because you aren’t in front of hundreds of people preaching that nobody’s watching you. There are probably dozens of people that you encounter every day that are looking to you for their example of Christ. Are they seeing enough to want to ask you about it? And if they do ask, are you ready with an answer?