Read 1 Peter 3:1-2
1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. (NIV)
It is very dangerous to see Christian witness simply in terms of the words we speak. Of course words matter; we are to speak graciously and wisely and truthfully about our faith. But our text today reminds us that words can sometimes be a menace.
Peter is writing to women married to unbelieving husbands. He suggests they may make the mistake of trying to nag their spouses into the faith. So tempting to try this! We reckon if we only leave some literature around, tell them all the wonderful spiritual experiences we are having, point out the folly of their own unbelief, that they will come to their senses.
This may be just what is not needed. None of those approaches is wrong in itself. But they can come across and a bit of relentless religious marketing. And if they are not allied to a Christian quality of life they will come across as sheer hypocrisy.
This principle applies to all our relationships with non-believers. Mere talking about our faith and our church and our beliefs is not going to penetrate defences. The words we speak are to be sown in fertile soil, made fertile by the way we live. The words of our faith must be backed up with the ‘music’ of our lives so as to make up a worthwhile song.
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