Above all else#11. “Hearts and minds.”

Above all else#11. “Hearts and minds.”

The young lady enthusiastically announced on her podcast:
“Here are three ways to guarantee that you win an argument:
1. Listen quietly and carefully to what the other person says. And when they are finished say, ‘I can understand why you feel that way.’
2. Ask if they wouldn’t mind if you expressed your opinion, and
3. Whatever the response, remember that the relationship is more important than being right.”

I am not convinced about the “guarantee that you win” part, but if her basic point is: “That damaging a relationship by winning an argument that won’t matter in the long term is not worth it,” I agree totally. After all, the old saying, “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still,” is as true today as it ever was.

The apostle Paul was solely in the business of moving hearts in the direction of God. He understood that hearts are changed by first changing the mind. However, he was not interested in convicting anyone of anything that they couldn’t first see in him. Thus, he told the Corinthian brethren:

“As people who know what it means to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. God already knows what we are, and I hope that you also know what we are” (2Cor.5:11).

The devil works overtime to keep the mind away from contemplating the eternal wonders of God. It is with our minds set on things above that we are able to effectively negotiate the cognitive confusions that beset us daily.

In the normal course of conversation, we must not take ourselves too seriously. Learning to understand why others have differing points of view should be our goal.

If the person is hostile to the Gospel, we are to stay calm and stick to the scriptures with all humility. Therein, we trust the Holy Spirit to do His work as the One who convicts hearts.

Jesus sent someone to win over our hearts and minds. We may not be guaranteed to win an argument, but we are guaranteed to be faithful to God’s will.

John Staiger


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