What to Say When You’re Put on the Spot

Jesus warned us that persecution would come. It seems that the last 200 years in America has been the very unusual exception rather than the rule about Christians.

Recently, I heard a speaker who named the three largest persecutors of Christians: 1) governments in general, 2) Islam, and 3) communism. Around the world, Christians suffer tremendously for the name of Christ.

What does the Bible say about responding to persecution or simply being put on the spot?

First, rely on the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us not to worry that the Holy Spirit would give us the words to say in times of trial and persecution. That certainly seems to have been the case when Paul stood trial. God promised Paul on the road to Damascus that he would get to give his testimony before “Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel” (Acts 9:15). I remembered that promise yesterday as I studied to teach of Paul’s trial before King Agrippa II. Paul spoke boldly and asked a question with wit, logic, and power: “Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8).

Paul had received Jesus’ promise.

Second, speak when you are given a chance to speak. Often times, we do not take advantage of the opportunity we are given. Several months ago, I bought a new phone. The young lady helping me wanted to know why I needed a new phone and what I would use it for. When I answered that I would use it to help me minister to the church, she wanted to know why I became a pastor. Not only did I talk about my call to ministry but also how I came to faith in Christ.

She listened intently to my answers. When Paul stood before Agrippa II, Agrippa gave him permission to defend himself. Paul did so by telling him what happened on the road to Damascus. We can do the same.

Third, speak with “gentleness and respect.” These are the words of Simon Peter when he told us to “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15). If possible, all of our interactions should be with gentleness and respect. We should speak to others as we wish they would speak to us.

Finally, always be quick to let others see how Christ has blessed your life. We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is worth telling about.


  1. Glenn Walls
    Nov 15, 2018

    Pastor Waylon, your blog brings to mind one of the best books I’ve read, “The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected”. A missionaries journey to answer the question how does anyone live an abundant, victorious Christian life in our world’s toughest places? Truly amazing book of how God works thru lives in the toughest of places. Outside of the Bible, one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever read.

    • Waylon
      Nov 21, 2018

      Glenn, I heard the author three times last week. He is an excellent speaker. I plan to read the book. Someone else recommended it as well

  2. Scott Hymel
    Nov 15, 2018

    Cornerstone of my apologetics ministry.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” — Matthew 19:14 (NIV)