We get criticized for listening to and following God.
How do we accept the criticism? With defensiveness and self-indignation? Or with patience and faithfulness?
I was caught off guard when someone’s response to my comment, “I’ll pray for you,” was met with an accusatory, “Of course, you’ll pray. You’re still drinking the KoolAid.”
It certainly wasn’t persecution, but hearing such harsh judgment, especially from someone whose faith I once respected, threw me back for a moment. But I didn’t respond immediately. I took a deep breath in, and as I exhaled, I knew any verbal response wasn’t wise. I would be adding fuel to the fire. Some fires are important to fight. Others need to burn themselves out.
1 Peter 3:15 says to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have…”
But not everyone asks. And some ask but not in verbal question form. We have to pay attention. We need to always “be prepared” but realize God won’t always prompt us to “give an answer.” And when we do, the last part of 1 Peter 3:15 is essential yet often ignored:
“…But do this with gentleness and respect.”