I used to think that persuasion is evil. Because as I have said before, persuasion carries the notion that we have been forced to do the things we don’t want to do in a very subtle way. (That we do not even realise)
Today however let me show you why persuasion is not evil at all. It is simply a powerful tool likened to a sword if you like.
The Bible itself is God’s word to Christians. To non- Christians it is still a book that contains a lot of wise sayings. I am not here to take a stand of the authority of the Bible. What I want to point out is that even the Bible has plenty of persuasive verses.
Let us take a look at a particular passage in the 14th Chapter of Acts: (KJV)
Act 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Act 17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
What is the setting for this? These are the words said by the Apostle Paul to the pagan peoples of Greece. The philosphers in Athens were at this point challenging Paul to a debate.
In Verse 22 Paul simply says the men of Athens are too religious. ( This is in effect a complement. Great way to start a speech.)
As you read down in verse 23, Paul was using the laws of persuasion beautifully. How?. He pointed them to the altar, which was one of their objects of worship. The unknown God that is their God and not any new god!
And In Verse 24. He tells them that God made the world.
And if God made the world, he is obviously too big for a human temple!
All these point to one thing if Paul could use persuasive techniques and it is written in a 2000 year old scripture, it cannot be evil. As I mentioned, Persuasion skills is a sword, a double edged sword, those with good hearts will use it for good, those with evil heart evil. Very much like material wealth.