“By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.” (Proverbs 25:15)
To persuade someone is to win them over to another way of thinking or path of action. Persuasion is done with patient reasoning, even if it takes time. That’s the idea of “long forbearing.” Our verse speaks of persuading a prince. Why a prince? Maybe because a prince has authority and power, and he or she (a princess) may be harder to win over. Yet even those in power can be persuaded by patient forbearing.
The best persuader is truth. Truth has a persuasive power all its own: “How forcible are right words!” (Job 6:25) The most powerful, persuasive truth is the truth of God’s Word. When you share truths from Scripture with people and actually use the Scripture, the Holy Spirit touches their hearts with the truth of what the Bible says. That’s why the Bible is called “…the sword of the Spirit,” (Ephesians 6:17)
The apostle Paul used the words of Scripture to convince people of the truth about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection; and about receiving Him as Saviour: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” (Acts 17:2, boldface added)
People weren’t always receptive to what he said: “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.” (Acts 17:32) Some people made fun of him. Others weren’t convinced, but they were willing to hear more. If you’re a Christian, don’t give up if you talk with others about Christ and they make fun or you don’t see results right away.
We do not have princes or princesses in America, but we have people in power, such as elected officials, judges, and police officers. Some of them make important decisions that affect us. People in power may be educated but know little of the Bible. They can be persuaded to listen to the challenging, helpful truths of God’s Word by long forbearing and by Christians “…speaking the truth in love,” (Ephesians 4:15)
Also, there is no one who cannot be won to faith in Christ: “And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” (Acts 18:4) Paul was a Jew and highly educated, but he was persuaded to receive Jesus. People of other religions or no religion can be persuaded to receive Jesus. Educated people can be persuaded to receive Jesus. That’s the persuasive power of God’s Word.
People in power can also be persuaded to receive Christ as Saviour. They are human beings with loved ones, personal lives, heartaches, and eternal souls. Jesus loves them. He died for their sins, was buried, and rose again. God can use His Word to touch their hearts. Like anyone else, those in power are only one personal decision away from the joy of having Jesus as Saviour, total forgiveness of sins, and eternal life.
People can be persuaded to receive Jesus as Saviour, but someone needs to persuade them. If you are a Christian, look for ways to share the gospel of Jesus with needy people. If you aren’t sure about going to heaven but would love to be sure, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 10/4/2022
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822