“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Pet. 3:15
Just received an “instant message” from a young man who is asking a question about a particular topic he asked almost a year and a half ago. Now, it appears, to me, he hasn’t come to some conclusion regarding the subject, but it is for certain the answer I gave THEN will be the answer I am giving NOW because there is no change in my understanding. Like being interrogated by the police, it doesn’t matter how many times you ask the same question in different ways, my answer will still be the same.
I’ve come to the conclusion as I told him, “I’ll leave you with your struggle”. Nowhere do I find, in my Bible where it states, the reason I am to give you is supposed to “satisfy” you. I’m getting so when someone asks me a question, my duty is to provide “an” answer, and that’s it! It is not to “debate” you, “convince” you, or even “satisfy” you!
I remember one discussion someone approached and asked me, “Sir, may I ask you a question?” My response, “Certainly. Go ahead.” He asked his question and I answered it. He then began to explain his understanding which was indicative he hadn’t listened to my answer. I had to stop him—abruptly, and say, to him, “Young man, you wanted to ask me a question, and you did, to which I answered. Now, I don’t recall at any time me asking what you thought.” He stopped with that surprised look on his face and then had to admit, “Yes, you are right.” I ended the conversation and walked away a simple, “Have a good day.”
Some people live their lives in having a need to explain to you what they believe without you having solicited their help. I don’t care for junk mail whether it comes into my physical mailbox, or my digital inbox because it is for certain I will not be renting space in my brain for any and every thought someone might think it is important—to them, when it is not important—to me. When I examine the text Peter so aptly wrote, notice the phrase, “…and be ready always to give ‘an’ answer…” doesn’t say a conversation, spend a half hour discussing or refute what he’ll say next! So, I have learned, and it was not easy, to simply give “an” answer and call it a day. When you know the “truth”, as the Bible says, it sets you “free” from those who are confused, entangled or just plain won’t listen, and especially those who like to argue.
Like they say, well, used to say on the street, “I’m not the one!”
July 4, 2016