But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15
I was taught that I needed to have an answer for every God-related question anyone might ask me. For a few years I strove to achieve that ridiculous goal in the desperate attempt to become the ultimate "Answer Man". Guess what I really learned? I learned how to accumulate answers, and how to match my answers to other people's questions. Of course, it wasn't at all surprising to find that my accumulated answers often clashed with the accumulated answers of others.
Something in me knew there was something wrong with always being right - especially when MY right didn't fare too well against somebody else's right. :) You know, I think what bothered me the most was that in striving to have all the answers I was becoming just like one of those people I vowed never to become, for I was becoming less of a real person. This discontent pushed me to examine the Biblical proof text. What I discovered is that it stated NOTHING about having all the answers, or even having a few of the answers. The answer it speaks of is not scholastic in nature, nor is it a response to a Biblical or theological question. For the answer touches on the bottom-line reality of Christ in you.
This simple answer makes perfect sense within its own letter. The people Peter wrote to had been treated harshly by a world that lived according to an unspoken law: No good deed goes unpunished. It is only illusion that makes us assume that has really changed. To capture some of what they were going through just consider the last time you were ridiculed for telling the truth, and then, how you answered it. Were you prepared to give the REAL reason for your behavior or did you get caught off guard and offer some pathetic moralistic excuse? The world understands morals, it does NOT understand LIFE. Fear pushes us to choose the cheap way out, while confidence that Christ is our life - sanctify the Lord God in your hearts - is what prepares us to give the real reason for the hope that is within us.
This verse doesn't demand any believer to have all the answers, instead it is the religious mind that has imposed this demand. While I was trying to do what the Bible said I was actually only doing what my teachers taught me to do. I responded by teaching others to do the same. Now the problem is not necessarily the answers themselves for many may be quite accurate. No, the problem is that most of our answers rarely touch the real stuff of life that happens right in front of us. Having all the answers is only a smoke-screen, but real life cuts through it all.