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“… 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…”1 Peter 3:15
I have a friend who always greets me with the expression, “what’s good?” Never, “how are you?” or “we are fine and you?” But always, “what’s good?”
What’s funny is I never know what to say. Fumbling over my words, there is an awkwardness to his question. I mentally search my life like I’m on some sort of Jeopardy-style quiz show where the right answer wins me a prize. His question made me pause to consider why this question was a stumper.
I want my words to shine easily as in 1 Peter 3:15, “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.” I don’t get why coming up with an answer to “what’s good?” is so hard.
As a Christian, I want to be bursting with what’s good. There are so many good blessings to celebrate: a loving spouse, good health, a cozy home, a vibrant family, and an abundance of resources. I get to live side by side with a Savior who loves me in ways that are hard to understand. I am living in a light-filled relationship with Christ and then I get to spend eternity in heaven. There are truckloads of good things to share.
Instead of those words, I stumble over what to say. I search my day for the most interesting thing I think he wants to hear. I point out any recent accomplishments or good news activities. In my striving to please, my words reflect my ego and my pride. I’m ashamed that the best thing I can think of amounts to what restaurant I ate at recently.
Even though I’m disappointed with myself, I know Christ understands. He knows my heart and if He were hanging out over pizza with me, I think He would encourage me to remember I am still a work in progress. He would give me armfuls of grace and invite me to kindly consider a more interesting response.
Yet I don’t think our responses are the ultimate point. I think Christ calls us to live out overflow mode so people can’t help but see Him in all we are and all we do. As Christ-followers it’s not entirely about the words we speak, but how we live our lives and the light it produces as a result. Am I a light shiner? Can people tell He is in me? More than the words I speak, does the life I live reflect Him?
That’s where I want to go to work. Jesus calls me to a higher standard. I’m ready with my response. I’ve given it a lot of thought for the next time my friend asks me, “what’s good?”
My response will be simple: “Everything is good in Him.”