Persuasiveness vs Contentiousness
More flies are caught with honey than with vinegar. –French Proverb
To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. –Edward R. Murrow
The persuasion of a friend is a strong thing. –Homer
To persuade means:
1. to move by argument, entreaty, or expostulation to a belief, position, or course of action
2. to plead with; urge
Synonyms for Persuasive: alluring, compelling, convincing, credible
Antonyms for Persuasive: disheartening, discouraging, dampening
What The Bible Says About Being Persuasive:
Proverbs 15:1“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 20:3 “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”
2 Tim 2:24 – 25 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth
2 Timothy 4: 24 -25 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful, Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth
Examples From The Bible:
Acts 5: 27 – 40 The Sanhedrin are persuaded against killing the disciples.
Acts 17: Paul uses local landmark for persuasive argument to trust in the One God.
Acts 19: 35 -41 The city clerk quiets and disbands the people who had seized Paul’s traveling companions.
Philippians 4:2 “Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement.”
Genesis 13:7-8 “And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. So Abram said to Lot, Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.”
The Example of Jesus to Us:
Jesus used persuasion throughout his ministry in the form of parables, scripture parallels and simple explanations of profound teaching. He convinced 12 men to leave their professions and be his devoted disciples. He gathered large crowds who hung on his every word and would stay to listen to him all day.
Even if you were not a Christian, you would have to agree to the following statement: Jesus is without a doubt, a very influential historical being and his teachings have survived thousands of years, to influence many generations and cultures. His teachings have made a world-wide impact. Can’t get much more persuasive than that.
Personal Thoughts and Applications:
A Christian is encouraged throughout scripture to use gentle, knowledgeable persuasion to influence others versus intimidation, pushiness, and contention. According to Phillipians 2:14-15: Do everything without complaining or arguing that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. If we want others to come to know Jesus, we need to reflect Jesus to those around us by exhibiting his kind and gentle ways, his love, compassion and patience. Learn to be firm but kind and set boundaries without being difficult or argumentative. Even commands and orders can be conveyed in ways that do not demean the value of another person. As scriptures teach, think before you act and speak so that your responses are proactive and not reactive. God doesn’t want us to push people away with overbearing, demeaning, judgemental words or actions. God wants us to positively influence the world around us in ways that draw the lost, confused, wounded, hurting and seeking to Him.
Prayer For You: May you be one of God’s bright shining stars, and have positive persuasive influence on the world around you. May you be aware of how your life impacts the lives of others. May you seek His guidance for words, actions and reactions so that you can be the tool He may use to persuade a lost one to seek Him out or a Christian to draw closer to Him.
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