Friday, September 16, 2011

Art of Persuasion

Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe. (Acts 28:24 NAS)

PersuasionMany of us know the influence of the media, how it can persuade us to purchase a product of a particular brand or a service from a particular provider. Frequently, what comes to mind when we need to purchase something is not an idea of our own, and we sometimes wish we have this same ability to influence others. In an article ‘The Art of Persuasion’ at, author Priya Florence Shah shares seven tips on how we can successfully persuade anyone.

Supposing the person we wish to persuade is Ivan, tip one on persuasion is to enter his world by putting ourselves in his shoes to understand his environment and needs from his point of view.

Tip two is to mirror Ivan’s body language to make him feel at ease and comfortable to connect and share openly with us.

Tip three is to be cheerful and nice, ready to brighten up Ivan’s day with sincere compliments, even of small things, which can go a long way breaking the ice and setting relationship to a good start.

Tip four is to be sincere and trustworthy, always being there for Ivan to lend a hand when he needs help or when he needs someone to talk or look up to.

Tip five is for us to provide compelling evidences to explain to Ivan our ideas and suggestions with undeniable proof from testimonials by users about the circumstance before use and the results after.

Tip six is to show what’s in it for him, the benefits and advantages.

Tip seven is to genuinely care for Ivan by focusing on his interests, desires, needs, and expectations so as to satisfy his craving for attention, and thereby establishing mutual trust and respect.

Much like the seven tips of persuasion for closing a sale or obtaining a service sign up, we can also employ similar techniques to bring people into the kingdom of God, especially those who do not even know us. The first thing we need to do is to put ourselves in their shoes to understand them and their situations. In so doing, they will feel at ease and comfortable with us, and be more receptive to the message we wish to share with them. By staying cheerful and genuinely interested in them without preconceived prejudices, ulterior motives or the feeling of just doing the job, we can through our sincerity break the ice and establish closer relationships with them.

When we willingly give our hands to meet the needs of the people we wish to reach, and be there for them whenever they need us, even just to talk, they will increasingly trust us more wholeheartedly. Once we have earned their trust, delivering the message of the gospel will be much easier. By bringing to them compelling evidences of what Christ has done for the world and in our lives, we can share with them the good news and our testimonies of changed lives. We can also share what’s in it for them when they receive Jesus as Lord and Savior—salvation and eternal life (John 1:12-13; 3:16), peace with God (Romans 5:1), and a personal relationship with Him (John 15:15-16; James 4:8a).

All these, however, have to be done with genuine love and compassion so as to satisfy the hunger in their souls, that with the same mind toward one another, mutual trust and respect can be established (Romans 12:16). Whether they are persuaded by the message we have shared thereafter is not our concern (Acts 28:24), for neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who causes the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

Notwithstanding the benefits of persuasion in sharing Christ to the world, we must be careful never to be persuaded or fall under the influence of false teachings or deceitful words from soothsayers (Matthew 7:15; 24:4, 11; Acts 20:30; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Psalm 35:20). Let us not be like Balaam, the son of Beor, who was easily swayed by persuasion because of his love for unrighteous wages (2 Peter 2:15, Jude 1:11). Instead, let us be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our toil is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Forgive us dear Lord for sometimes falling under the influence of persuasive words. We know Lord that persuasion can be good and bad, depending on how it is used. Help us therefore to wisely persuade the yet unsaved to bring them to You, yet not be swayed by soothsayers or false teachers. Keep us steadfast and immovable Lord, and guide us by Your Spirit to know what to say and do when building rapport with pre-believers.

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