First Peter 3 has very clear directions about how we are to live. It says we are to behave in such a way that the world can see Christ through our behavior.
The chapter starts out with a challenge to Christian couples to live considerately with each other. For the wives, the reason is listed in verse 1: so that if their husbands do not believe the Word, they may be won over WITHOUT WORDS, by the behavior of their wives.
And then verse 7 says husbands are to treat their wives considerately also, so that their prayers will not be hindered.
The chapter goes on to say that all people are to be treated well.
What does treating people with respect mean? How do we do it?
Verses 8-12 contain a list of instructions on how we are to live as Christians, and this list is our guide as to how we are to treat everyone.
Whether the other person is a Christian or a non-Christian, we are to:
- Live in harmony with one another
- Be sympathetic
- Love as brothers or sisters
- Be compassionate and humble
- Repay evil with blessing
- Seek and pursue peace
If we live according to that list, the world will notice Jesus through our actions. What a great challenge to us as men of valor on how we are to live!
There is actually a great illustration of this in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” (ESV).
These verses challenge us to be a good fragrance to those around us. It’s interesting that Paul compares the Christian lifestyle to fragrances or smells, because a smell is one of the first things you notice about an item. When you are walking in the market or around town and you smell something good—food, perfume, or whatever—you naturally want to find the source of the smell.
When we are living our lives as men of valor, treating others the way Christ would, people are going to notice and will want to find the source of that treatment or joy. Of course, for us that is Jesus, so they will want to know more about Him.
That brings us back to 1 Peter 3 and my final challenge: verses 15 and 16 say, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (ESV).
As men of valor we are to always be prepared to give an answer for the reason for the hope inside of us. We are to give an answer for why we live the way we do as listed in 1 Peter 3. And we are to do so with gentleness and respect.
We are not to be rude or arrogant while talking about Christ. If we live like the first part of the chapter talked about—sympathetic, kind, compassionate, and humble—people will take notice and wonder why we are different.
When they ask, we need to have a clear answer. We need to have a thorough knowledge of what the Bible says. We need to read, study, and memorize it. That way when we are asked, we can answer with confidence and tell the lost about Jesus.