|“…Herein lies the cardinal difference between the moralizing religions and Jesus’ offer to us… Jesus does not offer to make bad people good but to make dead people alive.” Ravi Zachariais
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
Most parents have experienced being accused by their children to the effect that they are trying to manipulate them. It appears to be an effective tool in resisting authority; “You are trying to manipulate me!” No one wishes to confess to being a manipulator, so you pause to evaluate the legitimacy of the charge. How do you decide? What is the difference between manipulation and influence?
You can distinguish between manipulation and influence by examining your motive. You manipulate when you seek what is in your interest; you influence when you seek the interest of others. Often an accusation is a subtle form of manipulation. For example, the politician accuses his opponent of having no heart for the poor in order to manipulate him into voting for a piece of legislation. Ostensibly, the only way the opponent can prove that he has a heart for the poor is by voting for the legislation.
Throughout Scripture you find illustrations of God’s servants seeking to persuade people to modify their behavior. Paul did all in his power to get people to conform to the expectations of Christ. This he did, not for his own temporal gain, but for their eternal gain. When you seek what is best for others, you are not manipulating; you are seeking to influence. This difference rests at the heart of being an ambassador for Christ.
Nehemiah 7-9 Acts 3 (New King James Version)
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Mark 11:24 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
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