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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
In 1988, I went to CHIC (“Covenant Highschoolers In Christ”), our denomination’s triennial youth conference. It was a great week filled with worship, speakers, and excursions, outings to various fun activities. One of our excursions was to a water park where we were given wristbands to show that we were from CHIC and had paid the full price for the day. As my friends and I walked around the park, we happened upon a group of guys about our age. They asked what the wristbands were for. Most of our group was shy about saying they were from a Christian conference, but one of our number stepped up and explained proudly that we were Christians. Once he finished, the questioners smiled and took their hands out of their towels, exposing their own wristbands. They were CHICsters themselves. “Good job,” the leader told us. “We’ve asked a lot of people and many are too ashamed to say they’re Christians.”
At least one of our group was prepared to give an answer to everyone who asked to give the reason for the wristband we had. And with it, the hope of Jesus Christ. Today, I remember that moment regularly and stay prepared to respond to anyone who asks. I don’t always succeed, but more often than not. That one guy from a waterpark in 1988 keeps me honest about my faith.
Are you prepared? If not, then in the heat of the moment, do you think you’ll be likely to share your faith? The tired old adage “to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail” is pretty appropriate when it comes to our faith as well.