1 Peter 3: 13-17
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats [b]; do not be frightened.” [c] 15 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, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
Devotion by Laurie Spencer
My Dad was a quiet man full of faith. This passage reminds me how effective saying the right thing with a gentle voice can be when drama swirls around. With his calm way of expressing thoughts he never wavered in reminding us what was the right thing to do or say. WWJD? (What would Jesus Do?) was similar in my family as WWDD? (What would Dad do?)
Dad is gone now. I wish I could read to Dad some of the nasty Facebook posts I’ve seen this year. I’d like to know how he would respond. As Peter says here to this gathering of gentiles, give an answer with gentleness and respect. I know Dad would do that. It’s important to speak up about what we know is right, be it religion and Jesus, or politics or all the human rights injustices that we struggle with. But how we say things makes a world of difference. So many knee-jerk reactions and accusations fly around the pages of Facebook that deteriorate relationships with our community. Just using a loving and measured, kinder response, would be what Jesus would do. And My Dad.
Father, Mother God, you gave me such great role models in your son, Jesus, as well as my Dad. The burden you presented me with is my natural inclination to be over dramatic and reactionary. My prayer to you is to help me take on the lessons of gentle communication and unconditional love and infuse them into my daily life. Amen.