14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled,15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3: 14-16
Beware of becoming a “troublesome meddler.” 1 Peter 4:15 This is one who meddles in things alien to his calling, or one who oversees others’ affairs. Doing this can lead to suffering and persecution which is brought on one’s self. What is this “blessing” Peter talks of? It is an outcome “full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11 Isaiah 8:12 is very interesting. It says, “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!'” Under attack we may be quick to assume the whole world is out to get us. Remember Nehemiah (Neh. 4:1-5 ) [Read this passage] He had a few detractors who were out to destroy the work, and they were formidable, but not the “whole world.” After all, the king had empowered him to return and build the wall. At the core of every attack is the element of fear. This emotion can alone take us down with no overt strike. “Intimidation” means to “put to flight.” What are we to do in case of attack? First, we set apart Christ as our leader in the war room of our hearts. Let him steer the ship. Second, devise a verbal defense that will be delivered with humility and reverence to God’s sovereignty over all aspects and parties. The core message boils down to “my faith requires this response or this action.” Again, such a response does not come across as pious if delivered with sincerity, humility and fear (of God’s hand in all of this). It is our goal to keep a good conscience before God, and if we do, and if we vocalize the source of our hope, those who revile will be put to shame. Don’t miss out that those who intimidate despise our “good behavior.” This verse does not indicate that we are in the end vindicated as we would demand or want in our flesh, but that our enemies will be put to shame, and when, we do not know. Our responsibility is to keep a good conscience (by “deeds”) and communicate our reasoning (by “words”).