Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gentleness and Respect

“…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, NIV 2011).

I was attending a retreat for directors of fellowship programs this weekend. We were discussing how we might diminish the stress on our trainees. One program director from another part of the country said, “These fellows go through a lot in their lives outside of their training. It’s been tough when my fellows have had to deal with divorce or decisions about their gender identity in the middle of their fellowship training.”

The truth in the Bible leads us toward lives where we should not have to deal with some of our difficult life issues, such as divorce and gender identity decisions. Nevertheless, many people, for whom Christ died, struggle with these issues. How are we as Christians to deal with these struggles? Our response as followers of biblical truth may be needed at many different levels: personal, social, spiritual, philosophical or political. Each response requires thoughtful prayer and guidance by the Holy Spirit. But, our convictions must not carry us beyond God’s purpose. The foundation for all of our responses should mimic the response of Christ: sacrificial love.

Dear God,
Help me to say and do the right things when I am faced with moral and social challenges in a world that does not know you. Help me above all to love those who are caught up in these challenges.

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