International (MNN/RHM) — [Ron Hutchcraft, from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, recently shared some interesting perspective on the “no defense” defense from 1 Peter 2:15. Here are his thoughts on how to be the ultimate comeback kid from “A Word With You” Devotional.]
You might call it God’s strategy for handling your critics.
Here’s what He says, “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.” Notice, when people are talking against you, God does not say that you silence them “by defending yourself’ or “fighting back.” He says it’s by just consistently “doing good” or hitting the ball that will silence your critics.
This strange strategy of defending yourself, by not defending yourself, is reaffirmed in 1 Peter 2:12. It says, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God.” Again, you’re accused of doing wrong. How are you supposed to respond? By saying, “I did not do that?” No, it doesn’t say that. It says you do it by living such a good life that it belies what people have said about you.
Again, Peter picks up the theme of the “no-defense” defense in 1 Peter 3:16, “Keeping a clear conscience, so those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” An avid fan of the Chicago Bulls pointed out to me that while others make predictions about what games they’re going to win in the playoffs, the Bulls over the years, especially when they were really winning, remained silent. Their approach, he told me, was “let your playing do the talking.” Or, as the sneaker commercial says, “Just do it.” That’s basically how God is telling us to live when we’re being talked against. Remain silent and let your playing do the talking. Let your consistent Christ-like actions expose how wrong your critics have been.
This same book of 1 Peter defines one aspect of those convincing good works, “Show proper respect to everyone.” When you treat your critics with gentleness, respect, and love, it tends to make their attacks seem a whole lot less credible. 1 Peter 3:9 says, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing.” In other words, no retaliation.
Now, this “no defense” defense, this self-controlled response to attacks, is totally against our human nature, and it’s totally like Jesus. Peter says when they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate. When He suffered, He made no threats. Instead (now, here’s how you can let your playing do all the talking), “He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.”
The person who really believes that God will defend him, that God will see that justice and truth ultimately will carry the day, and who can wait for God to do it His way, that person is the ultimate winner.
So just keep hitting home runs, keep treating your attackers as Jesus treated His, and ultimately, those critics will be strangely silent. Your words didn’t prove them wrong, your actions did!
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