The Fine Art of Failure: Week 1 - Day 4

Opening Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, we are Your representatives here on earth.  Help us to be patient and true witnesses for You.

 

Read: 1 Peter 3:15-16 NIV

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.

 

Reflect: 

In today’s culture of political correctness, we often face situations where people consider something wrong because it may “offend” someone.  So many words or concepts are considered taboo.  It almost seems that you need to walk on egg shells so feelings aren’t hurt. 

We constantly run into this in the education business.  As a school administrator I was constantly on guard about these things.  The school attorney became my new best friend.  Several years ago, I ran into a situation where I literally came face to face with one of the anti-religion advocacy groups. We had High School seniors who gave the opening and closing remarks at graduation each year.  Because the community had a large percentage of Christians, the students would often open or close with a prayer.  I had worked with the board of education to write a policy on student work that followed the guidelines of the Supreme Court decision.  That is, the students have the right to express their faith, or lack of it, in their work.

Each year before graduation, I got “The Call” from the advocacy group telling me that I had to tell students they couldn’t say a prayer as part of their remarks at graduation.  I read them our policy and asked them politely if the policy was correct.  They always had to say yes, but it still wasn’t right for us to let students pray because it “might offend” someone.  They always backed off at this point.

I found that by knowing the law, knowing the Word, and speaking politely, I was able to stand up and glorify the Lord.  Each of us must follow this 1st Peter passage when we are faced with challenges from self-righteous or judgmental people: “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”.

 

Apply:  

In our society we are going to face challenges to our faith walk.  It is hard to turn the other cheek as Christ instructed us to do when faced with insults to our faith.  When someone does this, bite your tongue and gently use the Word to stand up for what is right in God’s eyes.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, Your Word has so many examples of how You patiently witnessed to Your opponents.  Remind me daily to consider WWJD - What Would Jesus Do?

Terry Schneider