“Having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”
that when they defame you as evildoers,
They speak evil of us as wrongdoers. Even though non-Christians may detract from us, we bear witness to them with a consistent testimony. A changed life gets their attention.
The previous verse referred to the Christian standing before the courtroom of those around us who know not Christ. As we stand in the spotlight of this courtroom our conduct must match what we testify.
those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed
Conduct is the basis for Christian testimony. Conduct justifies our testimony.
Immoral conduct of a few Christian leaders can cast a pale over all Christians. This can blunt our testimony until we can establish our own character of conscience. In this way, our conscience is no obstacle to our affirmations.
Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”
2 Cor. 1:12 “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.”
The best way to stop criticism is through a consistent life.
We cannot escape criticism in this life. This is especially true for Christian leaders.
If we claim to be a Christian and we live carnal lives, who will give a dime for what we have? Who will we persuade to come to Christ? We meet criticism with changed lives that are beyond reproach. This will silence slander. It will disarm the critics of their criticism. The only unanswerable argument for Christianity is a consistent Christian life.
Does your life recommend Christ? Nothing we say with our mouth will undo the damage we do with our life.