Powers of Persuasion: Won Without Words

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“If any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives” (1 Peter 3:1b-2, NIV).

Here Peter tells us that we can win people over without ever speaking a word. Really? Not even one word in defense of our point of view? How our itch to argue our position rebels against this advice!

How does this even work? Well, Holy Spirit is here revealing to us a truth that will transform our lives if we allow it to. It’s this: Purity and reverence are so much more compelling than any line of reasoning that we could ever employ.

You see, a life lived in full surrender to God beautifies you. A heart entirely given over to His purposes arrays you with radiant strength. A soul through whom Holy Spirit’s peaceful waters flow is captivating. A countenance adorned with His grace gently allures the unbeliever unto the winsomeness of Jesus. When His loveliness is on display in our lives, it attracts those around us to Him. We no longer need to say anything in an attempt to coax or convince.

These are the secret powers of persuasion available to us in Him. This is why Peter further instructs us: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (vv. 3-4).

Although he specifically directs these words to women, this principle applies universally. The Lord says to all of us that our lives are His letter written to humanity: “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor. 3:3, ESV).

Through the way we live our lives, Jesus communicates to those around us. When we are full of His Spirit, they will see Him in our eyes. They will hear His message through us, though we speak not a word.

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Has someone in your life shifted your perspective on a certain matter, without using any words, just by who they are?

18 thoughts on “Powers of Persuasion: Won Without Words

  1. Amazing! Thank you Jennifer. Never is the beauty of this seen better than when in contrast with the ugliness of hate.

    This past week a man who works at the motel we live at had a meltdown. Even though we had been friendly to him on Thursday he was tipsy and attacked us. For 4 hours, as we sat outside our room, he cursed us at the top of his lungs. He grossly slandered Wanda and both my daughters in his anger. We endured. We kept quiet, refusing to reply to the lies being thrown at us. Now even though it wasn’t nice to endure our response caught the attention of people we have witnessed to here. After it was all done they came to us and let us know that they did not agree with the worker.

    When we endure trials God is creating in us the vessel that will be able to properly carry the character of Jesus. This takes time but after we have endured, the testimony of silence in character is far more powerful than words will ever convey. Truly those who observe will see and learn more than if we ever tried to teach them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, my brother, your freshly-lived experience illustrates this truth in such a precious way! Four hours, my goodness. I praise God for developing such Christlikeness as to be able to stay silent in the face of such prolonged abuse, and for His vindication in the words of those people! How beautifully His light is on display through you. May He richly bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “. . . the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. . .” There is so much to be done with respect to showing people the importance and benefit of such a spirit. Our mission as believers, I believe, is to let others see the face of Christ in us, and for us to see the face of Christ in others. Without a quiet and composed spirit, it would seem impossible.

    And when that spirit is manifest within us, we never know what seeds we may be planting. Our focus may be on the person in front of us, but what of the person off to the side, watching us, and perhaps in need of something he/she suspects we may have. . . . who knows what may come of such a moment?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Those are such profoundly important thoughts, Mike. You are absolutely right — our lives are under constant observation by eyes that we so often are not even aware of. When they can see Jesus in our gentleness, the eternal ripple effects are amazing to contemplate! Thank you so much for sharing those thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In Jesus final days, He was attacked verbally and physically, though being totally innocent! He spoke not in any way to defend himself or accuse others. Rarely do we have such occasions of abuse in our lives, yet we rebel and fight back in the moment. Only the Spirit of God within us can cause us to respond in silence. I pray this be so more often in my life Lord. Amen Len

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer, I appreciate this post. The power of persuasion can be won without words. I am thinking of a teacher who models behavior and other people skills in the classroom. There is much strength displayed this way.

    Liked by 1 person

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