“The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive.” (Proverbs 16:21, NLT)
Kindness is persuasive. This is extremely important if you have a sales career. Why? Because hard selling doesn’t work anymore. We no longer respond to the guy who yells at us telling us he has the deal of the century that we can’t live without.
These days we don’t buy because someone pushes us to. We buy because someone recommends it to us. Your friends recommend a certain car, movie or restaurant, and that’s enough to make you want to try it, and even buy it. Why? Because his treatment was gentle, without an ulterior motive. And this is far more persuasive.
Proverbs 25:15 says: “Courtesy overcomes all opposition” (TLA). Do you want to convince your boyfriend or girlfriend or your spouse to do something? Don’t force or pressure him. Even when people are on the defensive, politeness gets their attention, because it breaks down even the strongest defenses.
So if you’re a parent, yelling will never work for you, even with the most stubborn kids. Never exercise discipline when you are angry or frustrated. Always do it as a fruit of love and in a gentle way. Proverbs 25:15 says that “smooth words can break bones” (NLT).
If I want to persuade people in my church to live their faith more intensely, I have to do it gently. I could say every week, “This is all the stuff you guys are doing wrong,” but that way of communicating only raises emotional barriers. People will probably stop coming to church! It doesn’t work at church, it doesn’t work at home, and it doesn’t work at work with your boss. Irritating never works.
But gentleness is persuasive. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:21, “The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive” (NLT).
This is the mark of maturity. Wise and mature people are nice. The immature are rude. You can never be persuasive when you are harsh.
Lord, lead me to be courteous and gentle in my dealings with everyone around me, so that the nature of Your Son shines through, and not my sinful, angry and harsh nature. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.