Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
An online devotional for writers
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere. (2 Corinthians 5:11, NLT)
A persuasive writer uses a variety of techniques to prove, sway, influence, convert, assure, or win over the reader to a point of view.
Writers of faith are told to be persuasive. Jesus Himself told us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).
But when I think of being a persuasive writer, I get uncomfortable.
To be honest, I fear rejection. Readers may disapprove of my zeal. And I don’t want to come across as a slimy, manipulative used car salesman (apologies to all my car salesmen readers.)
Here’s where I take a cue from Paul’s persuasive skills. Scripture describes how Paul spent each Sabbath in the Corinthian synagogue, persuading Jews and Greeks about the gospel (Acts 18:4). But he also spoke quietly with a group of women at Philippi’s river (Acts 16:13). On the other hand, he preached boldly about God’s Kingdom with the Ephesians, which led to deeper discussions (Acts 19:8-9). He reasoned daily with Athenians in the public square (Acts 17:17).
Did Paul manipulate his listeners? No. He adapted his approach, depending upon the listener, using a variety of techniques to persuade. Many believed the truth. Others didn’t or wouldn’t.
Paul did his part and was obedient to present the truth in a way that could be heard by those at the moment. He left the rest to the Holy Spirit, who is the One who convicts (John 16:8).
A persuasive writer uses a variety of techniques or methods to present the truth. The outcome is up to the Holy Spirit. What a relief!
Writing persuasively? No manipulation required. Just a simple understanding of the best way to present the truth to a specific group of readers.
A persuasive writer uses a variety of techniques to present truth.
Thank you that You are the One who convicts. All you ask of me is to write in the most persuasive way possible for a particular group of readers. Show me the specific techniques to use for each specific project I write. I’ll leave the outcome to you.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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