As a kid did your parents ever ask you a question and you didn’t answer or just stood there and they had to say “It’s not a rhetorical question, what’s your answer”
Maybe I was a defiant child, thats me in the picture above probably doing just that, or maybe my mom had a big vocabulary and liked to use words like rhetorical, either way I heard that a lot growing up!
Today in my reading I felt the same way when a question came up, I realized for maybe one of the first times ever, that questions in scripture aren’t rhetorical. Let me explain.
I am reading in 1 Peter (which is amazing, you should read it if you haven’t) and a question came up in chapter 3.
‘Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?’ 1 Peter 3:13
I read it and kept reading, but then I went back and reread it, and stopped this time.
Who is there to harm me if I am excited for what is good, I thought, then I answered the question.
The obvious answer is the devil and his demons are always lurking around to attempt to harm those zealous for God and righteousness. But I also thought it might be those that do not know God, thus are offended by Him and the Gospel, they sometimes attempt to harm us as well. And harm isn’t always a physical act either, harm can come in many forms and a lot of the time harm is done to our emotions, and how we feel about ourselves, others and God.
People that you love very much may harm you too…
These people may be friends you thought were the very best, or family you have known your whole life, they may turn their back on you when you’re all in for Jesus, but there is great news, lets read on.
Versus 14 says this:
‘But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 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…’
So as Christians we will have people disown us, make fun of and mock us, BUT we will have no fear, nor be troubled. We know Who we serve and where our blessings come from, not a person or a thing or a sense of acceptance from anyone other than Jesus Christ himself.
As so clearly explained in the above verse, we as Christians are to be ready to share this reason with people, not turn our backs in retaliation, but love and pursue them. Thank goodness all along the way He says we do not have to fear, nor be troubled.
I gleaned a lot of revelation through stopping and answering the question in 1 Peter today. Sometimes God asks hard questions and I have to give answers I don’t care for or want to be honest about, but when I do, wow does He take me to deeper levels of relationship with Him, and that’s where I always want to be!
I would encourage you to do the same, answer the hard questions, deep relationship with Him is truly an amazing place to be.