The Art of Persuasion
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read 1 Samuel 24:1-7
Here we see a guy who did the right thing and brought a whole group with him. He persuaded them with his words. The literal meaning here, strange as it may seem, is "tore apart." He tore them apart with his words. The same Hebrew word is used in Isaiah 53 where we read, "He was wounded for our transgressions." It means pierced through, torn apart, ripped up.
I have a feeling that David's men didn't just stand together and mildly say, "You think you should have done that?" No, their dialogue must have been heated.
"Don't be a fool, David!"
"DAVID, the guy's done everything but take your life."
"Look, I can't do it!"
Back and forth, back and forth they argued, but David stood for a righteous principle until their argument was torn apart. They were persuaded. Remember this when you are hanging in the balance somewhere. Maybe in your profession or business. Perhaps in the way you've done your studies or carried on your lifestyle. You've compromised and sort of waltzed along on very thin wires of rationalization, and you've begun to lean. And God says, "You have no business doing that. Get back where you belong."
Hey, who knows whom you could persuade if you walked with God? Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with every day need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just spot-on clean living. Honest-to-goodness, bone-deep, nonhypocritical integrity. Authentic obedience to God.
David persuaded the men because, ultimately, he had absolute confidence in God. He wrestled with his guilt, hung his life on a righteous principle, and then stood fast in absolute confidence in God to make the situation right, even in the face of the opposition. "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. David put his confidence in that.
David's son Solomon would later write in his Proverbs, "When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" (16:7). What a promise! The word "easy" is not in Proverbs 16:7, however. It's true, but it's not easy.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.