1 Peter 3:14-17
But and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;…
The ability to state our convictions with clearness and completeness yields two benefits.
1. It makes our convictions respected. There is persuasion in the forceful putting of a thought, and in sentences sharply drawn and well considered. The effect of words, as of soldiers, can be trebled by their manner of marshalling. A word aptly chosen is an argument, and a phrase judiciously contrived a syllogism. And so Peter would have his readers study to state their hopes and the grounds of them in an orderly and intelligent manner, and procure for their convictions in this way a respect, at least, among those whose opinions differed or even antagonised.
2. Another benefit intended was the effect which the rational statement of an opinion has in giving to that opinion firmer establishment in our own minds. Our religious beliefs are sometimes irresolute, because we do not know with precision what they are, nor with definiteness why they are. We are established by feeling the grounds of our establishment. The boat drifts till it feels the pull of its anchor. We get a sense of stability by inspecting the means of our stability. If we are crossing a stream upon a bridge of ice or timber, even though assured of safety, we contemplate with earnest pleasure the massiveness of its icy or oaken beams. Even confidence loves to be reminded of the grounds of its confidence, and wins bravery from their review. The architect Jets the buttresses and the broadened courses of basal masonry as far as possible lie out in the light. Such a disposition of facts satisfies the eye because it satisfies the mind. We get a sense of stability by inspecting the means of stability.
(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;