Difficult conversations and dealing with sensitive issues are inevitable, but they can be made easier if you use a little persuasion.

Last week, we continued our study of Philemon focusing on verses 4-7.  Derrick gave us 5 practical techniques to use when you have to engage in difficult conversation.

As exhibited by Paul, you can say hard things gently and show your faithfulness to Christ and love for others by doing the following in your conversation:

  1. Appeal to a higher purpose. Be sincere based on your relationship with Christ.  Don’t let it become a personal issue.
  2. Praise them.  Find something good to say with sincerity. “Praise is the steam that rises from a warm heart.” (Fred Smith)
  3. Appeal on a personal level.  Let them know you care about them.  “What is in the well of your heart will show up in the bucket of your speech.” (Ken McFarland)
  4. Appeal to their reason.  Give the facts, appeal to their logic.
  5. Use the right words. Select your words with care and think about what you’re going to say before you say it.  It’s not what you say, but how you say it.

As we experience and understand God’s blessings, which are only found in Christ, we are more motivated to share those blessings with others.

A key thought from this lesson:  Does your faithfulness to Christ manifest itself in love for others who have wronged you?  Paul’s prayer was that Philemon would demonstrate in his relationship with others the same grace he experienced in his relationship with Christ.

What God has blessed you with (reconciliation, forgiveness, peace) you need to give away.   Have you done that this week?

(Material is Copyright © 2010 by Derrick G. Jeter. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.)