1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”
When Peter says “but sanctify”, he is saying “but set apart the Lord God in your hearts”, meaning do not let your worldly ideals get in the way of God. Because the time will come when you will need to defend your faith in Jesus Christ.
There are powerful forces of evil ready and willing to challenge you at every turn. Learn how to engage, how to debate, how to argue effectively against those evil forces by staying the word, studying it, eating and drinking it.
Awhile ago, I listened to an interview with an Olympic swimmer from my state. They asked him “were you ever nervous before the meet?”. He replied, “I knew I was going to win, because I worked harder than my competition”. He was completely confident in his ability because he spent more hours, spent more time in preparation than those who were going to compete with him.
If you aren’t prepared, the enemy will toss you around like a rag doll and make you look silly. Learn the various tactics. Learn what a fallacy is as well, because the enemy will use them. These are invalid arguments meant to divert you off the main question. There is the non-sequitur which is basically something that doesn’t follow the argument, a diversion. They’ll use something called strawmans, which are misrepresentations on what you believe in order to try and win an easier argument. They’ll use the “whoa is me” emotional appeals which try to guilt you into submission. The bandwagon appeal where they try to say many are doing something, so it must be true or the historical fallacy where they’ll claim someone believed something long ago, so it must be true. And the appeal to ignorance, since Scripture didn’t mention it, therefore their assertion is true. These are fallacies, so don’t fall for them.
Prepare by listening to others as well. Take notes on the various arguments being waged, and take the things that work and put that in your quiver, and discard the rest which aren’t working. I would say the number one reason one fails in their witness to others, is the LACK OF PREPARATION. You can’t treat Christianity as a hobby, and expect good results.
The enemy is prepared to take you on, so treating your witness as a hobby will always fail. Taking time off from studying Scripture will lead to bad results. The enemy will trip you up! Be like that Olympian swimmer, KNOW that you can withstand any attack because you are much more prepared than the enemy.
And make no mistake, discern WHO THE ENEMY is. They are anyone opposed to the Biblical Gospel. Anyone opposed to the eternal security in Jesus Christ. Anyone opposed to the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ. Anyone teaching that you cannot go directly to God by Jesus Christ.