1 Peter 3:13-22

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Style Counts

Ambassador or Imposter

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

“The qualities of a diplomat are sleepless tact, unmovable calmness, and a patience that no folly, no provocation, no blunders may shake,” according to Ben Franklin, one of the first and most distinguished ambassadors of the United States. The statement seems strikingly similar to Peter's words in today's scripture. When taken in context, this verse establishes the ideal pattern for an ambassador of Christ.

The first step is to lay a foundation that sets apart Christ as Lord in one's heart. Before individuals can exercise any duty as ambassadors, it is essential they remove all conflicting loyalties to any other country or kingdom. The second step is to “always be prepared.” The words “be prepared” have been a part of the international Scout Motto for girls and guys since 1907 for a reason. When a person is prepared in mind and body, they will tend to do the right thing at the right moment, which is ideal for making a difference. In addition to these two critical steps, it is important to remember that style counts. Gentleness and respect are two essential diplomatic tools for the ambassador. Gentleness implies a soft but firm and patient but pressing resolve. Respect implies a love for people and their culture. Not only do we need to be prepared to offer a reason for our hope, we need to do so with a class and style that dissipates barriers to the Gospel.