1 Peter 3:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 3:16, NIV: "keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

1 Peter 3:16, ESV: "having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."

1 Peter 3:16, KJV: "Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."

1 Peter 3:16, NASB: "and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame."

1 Peter 3:16, NLT: "But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ."

1 Peter 3:16, CSB: "Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame."

What does 1 Peter 3:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous two verses, Peter taught Christians how to respond to suffering for the sake of Christ. We must not give in to fear and anxiety. Instead, we must commit to treating Christ as our Lord, ready to give an answer to questions about the surprising hopefulness that comes with our place in God's family (1 Peter 3:15).

But, we must give this answer with gentleness and respect. In this verse, Peter explains why this attitude is key. First of all, it allows us to maintain a good conscience. This is an inner confidence that we have not done even the slightest hurtful thing in telling others about Christ. Secondly, those who wrongfully hurt us for our good behavior should feel shame about doing so. Without any cause to accuse us, they will become aware of their own wrongdoing in accusing us in the first place. Lacking that, it will at least be apparent to others that we are being attacked for no good reason.