9. Winning people to your way of thinking (Part 2)

4. Be friendly 5. Let the other person say yes 6. Let others talk


Part I

1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

2. Show respect for the other persons opinions, never say “You are wrong”

3. If you are wrong admit it quickly and emphatically


Part II


When we know the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit begins to transform us from our earthly image, into the Lord’s image. 


18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18


Being changed into the Lord’s image, our way of thinking changes, we learn this world is not all there is.  We begin to think in terms of eternity.  We have a purpose beyond this life.

         Whatever our station, knowing the Lord, makes us the Lord’s representative to a dying and lost world.  The world needs to know Jesus Christ, without Jesus, there is no hope. We play a vital link in the lives of people and eternity; we should never take lightly the people God has put in our life.  Each person we meet might be someone sent by the Lord. Someone the Lord wants us to reach for eternity.  How we respond can be a direct reflection on the One we represent.  The eternity of souls could be directly effected by what we say and do.

         We as Christians should make it our goal to change people over to our way of thinking; we should want people to know Jesus like we know Jesus.  Salvation for the lost person is like a cool oasis of life in the hot endless desert of life.  Giving people eternal life is an amazing job given us by our savior.  The goal here is be equipped to handle people. How we can influence their decisions, for eternity.

         Therefore the ultimate goal in learning “How to win friends and influence people” should be the Kingdom of God we represent. For example, if we try to present Jesus in hard argumentative manner, we might loose the opportunity to present Jesus, because the lost person just turns our message off.  This is what it means to win people “our way” of thinking.  Learning how to dialogue with people, so they can see “our way”, the Gospel, which is God’s way.


4. Begin in a friendly way


Our life in many ways gives off an aroma of who we are.  Life is filled with conflict, whether at work, on the road, at friends’ houses, family, government or neighbors’ back yards, all of us will face conflict in some form from other people.  How do we handle these conflicts?  How do we approach these people?

         Many times these are the same people God has called s to reach, if that is the case, how can we deal with these adverse situations  Abraham Lincoln said the following in a speech once,


It is an old and true maxim that a “drop of honey catches more flies then a gallon of gall”.  So with men, if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart; which say what you will is the great high road to his reason.[1]


            Think to yourself, who would you rather deal with and talk too, a friendly person or an angry person? Do you prefer a person with a smile or a frown?  When we want to bring someone to our way of thinking, especially concerning the Gospel, we need to keep in mind how we come across. You and I might be Jesus they ever see.  Even when we disagree with someone we can choose to be friendly or angry.  The point here is, if we meet someone on angry or threatening terms, they will dig in their heals and prepare for battle.  While, if me meet people on friendly terms, we are much more likely to get them to hear us.

The Bible presents us with the view of these two approaches to our fellow man.   


         By approaching people in a friendly manner, we create an open door to the Gospel.  In everything we do, we are the Lord’s agent to reach the lost.    When you sit down with someone, how do you come across?  We can pray, that we would reflect the love of God in every situation.  Our presence and demeanor can spark someone to want to know, what is different about us?  Why do we have peace?  Why are we content?

         Before you know Christ, did you meet people, who had a presence about them, which separated them from others?  This is an issue we can take to the Lord, He can change our attitude with people.


Lord change my attitude around people let your love and meekness flow through me.  Help me to be friendly, let people see Jesus in me. Let me be your bright light in the darkness.   Use me to find those who are lost, who are looking for hope and meaning.   Give me your peace when I am talking to someone about the Gospel, let me not become angry or upset.



5. Get the other person to say “yes, yes” immediately.


To bring someone over to our way of thinking, its important to establish an open line of communication.  A disagreement at the beginning of a meeting set the tone for the rest of the meeting. 

          For example, if a Muslim and Christian are meeting to discuss their faiths, have a great deal in common, even if there is also disagreement. To establish a dialogue, the Christian should acknowledge the area where the Muslim and the Christian can agree.

         We should always look for ways we agree, and build those ways into our conversation.  The goal is to keep the conversation open and forward moving as opposed to having it close from the start.



Example of Muslim-Christian Dialogue (Tom Christian and Ibraham Muslim)

Christian:  Hello Ibrahim?  Nice to meet you, hey I am really glad we can get together and talk about Islam and Christianity.  A lot of people think you should not talk about religion, for the fear of offending people.  However, I think knowing where you are going to spend eternity is the most important issue, would you agree?

Muslim: Yes I agree, what happens after I die is much more important then gaining all the money in the world.  This is the reason I am a Muslim, because I want to be prepared for my eternity.

Christian: Yes I agree, Ibraham, both you and I have a lot in common, even though we disagree about some major issues, we can also see what we share.  Ibrham, would you agree that Muslims and Christians both believe God created the heavens, the earth and humanity?

Muslim: Sure, we both agree on that these very basic principles, Allah is the source of the world we live in, He is the source of all the people alive.

Christian: Ibraham, Muslims also believe Jesus is the Messiah right?

Muslim: Yes he is the Messiah; however we do not believe he is God or the Son of God.


Example of Atheist-Christian Dialogue (Tom Christian and Mike Atheist)


Christian: Mike,  How I am glad you and I are willing to have this kind of meeting, I know you are just as interested in learning the truth, about where we came from, as I am?

Atheist: Sure, I am all about reality! Tom you know I don’t buy any of that of religious garbage, I know we are products of the universe without God, but I am willing to have to tell you why that’s the case if you are willing.

Christian: Mike do you agree we should examine the facts, to determine if what we believe is true?

Atheist: Yes,  Atheism is all about facts, we know God does not exist based on facts.

Christian:  Would you say you are logical in your approach?  If someone could show you the evidence of the Bible and Jesus are you willing to at least listen?

Atheist:  I am absolutely logical.  Hey, I have looked at the so-called evidence, but I am willing to hear what you have to say.


         In both dialogues, the goal was to keep the road of communication open.  Looking for areas we can agree with the person as opposed to start out with disagreement.  Paul when he addressed the Areopagus, used the existence of the “Unknown god” to bridge the discussion to Jesus.  He was looking for something which they agreed to.

         Imagine if Paul started out by saying, you idol worshippers, let me now teach you about “Truth” and how you have fallen for “Satan” trap, in what you believe!”.

         We should take the time to learn how to dialogue with those we are trying to save. 


6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking


         Everybody has a life story; they have reason why they believe what they do.  In dialoguing we need to let the other person do the talking.  Try to learn where a person is coming from.  Learn, why do they think that way?  The best way to learn is to listen.  Encourage the other person to talk, about his or her experiences.

         This principle applies in all situations, personal, business and spiritual.  The following story is told in the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.


“Barbara Wilson’s relationship with her daughter, Laurie, was deteriorating rapidly.  Laurie, who had been a quiet, complacent child, had grown into an uncooperative, sometimes belligerent teenager.  Mrs. Wilson lectured her, threatened her and punished her, but to no avail.......

    “ One day,”  Mrs. Wilson told one of our classes, “I just gave up.  Laurie had disobeyed me and left the house to visit her girl friend before she had completed her chores. When she returned I was about to scream at her for the  ten-thousandth time, but I just looked at her and said sadly, ‘Why, Laurie, why?’

    “Laurie noted my condition and in a calm voice asked, ‘Do you really want to know?’  I nodded and Laurie told me, first hesitantly, and then it all flowed out.  I had never listened to her  I was always telling her to do this or that.  When she wanted to tell me her thoughts, feelings, ideas, I interrupted with ore orders.  I began to realize that she needed me-not as a bossy mother, but as a confidante, an outlet for all her confusion about growing up.  And all I had been doing was talking when I should have been listening.  I never heard her.

    “From that time on I let her do all the talking she wanted.  She tells me what is on her mind, and our relationship has improved immeasurably. She is again a cooperative person”[2]


         As in the case of Laurie above, many of us never get the opportunity to tell our story.  Our actions are often the outlet for the inner pain we suffer. Sometimes people are just waiting for someone who cares enough to listen to them about their life.

         Why does the atheist reject God?  Maybe it has nothing to do with theology, but everything to do with his life?  What if his father abandoned him, maybe his mother never had time, inside he is  crying hurt child.  He just can’t believe if God existed, He would allow him to hurt so much.  God could have placed you in this person’s life, to show him the love of God, he has never experienced.  If we do all the talking, sometimes we never find out what the other person is thinking. 



7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.


         Our fallen human nature for the most part is self-focused.  We always think in terms of our life, our thoughts, our plans and our future. We are always more interested in our ideas and plans then the next guys.  Since we all have a human nature, many times the thoughts you and I have, are they very same thoughts the next person has.

         In our dialogues with people who are seeking the Lord, let’s try to talk in their terms.  For example, if a person relates to a time they sought God, talk in terms of that event rather then in terms of your event.

         In the example below, Lisa Christian want to help her agnostic friend, who thinks God does not really care if God cared, her life would be different


Example Dialogue  Lisa Christian and Cindy Seeker


Christian:  Cindy so how was it you cam to the conclusion God does not love you?

Seeker: When I was going through the worst period of my life, I cried out to a god, I said if you exist help me?  I got no reply, the horror in my life continued.  So I came to the conclusion, god does not exist or does not love me.  No one could have ever gone through what I went through, but I got through it on my own ability.

Christian:  I am really sorry to hear, the horror you went through.  The point is Lisa; you did seek God at one point in your life.  God really knows your heart and feels your pain; the Bible says God loves you so much.  I might not have gone through what you have gone through, but I know God has heard you.

Seeker:  Listen Lisa, religion might work for you, but it doesn’t for me, I don’t need a crutch, I have myself.

Christian: Cindy, don’t give up on God.  Give God a chance to remove the pain in your life, do you know what happens after you die?  Cindy at one time you sought God, let me show how I think God answered your cry.



         Through the dialogue, Lisa has discovered at one time, Cindy cried out to God, but felt abandoned and rejected by God.  Notice how Lisa, talks in terms of Cindy’s experience rather then her own, the events in Cindy’s life are very real to her.  She has never had this event addressed; the fact is Cindy sought God, so Lisa presenting God to Cindy is not Lisa idea, but Cindy’s.  Lisa is merely addressing an area of her life which has never been addressed.

         Lisa is letting Cindy know the idea is hers, not Lisa’s.  Many times we need to find the idea in the history of the other persons memory, because all of us are seeking the same things.  This stems all the way back to Adam.

         We all want to be significant, we all want to count, we really want to know the purpose and meaning of our life.  Satan uses these needs and desires we seek, to destroy us.  Our job as the Lord’s warriors is to counter Satan’s attack with the Gospel.

         Satan lied to Cain, when he felt insignificant as a result of his attitude toward God.  Cain thought if he killed Abel his problem would be solved. This is what plagues humanity to this very day, our yearning for meaning.  We as followers of Christ have the answer the world seeks.


[1] How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie, Pgs. 145,146.  1981, Simon & Schuster

[2] Ibid,  Pg. 159,160