Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Influence Others With Love

Meekness and graciousness are terms to apply to one who practices the Way of Love. To influence others we must show great consideration for the opinions of others. We have to listen with understanding and compassion.  We have to demonstrate we understand the other person's viewpoint and we care.  Listen, listen, listen.  Do not attack or condemn in any way. Seek to know their environment and situation. Ask yourself, "Why is it they think this way?" Think about how you can help nurture their soul and then say it simply with love.

Here is how Elder Porpyrios puts its,
In debates, if you say a few words about religion you will prevail. Let the person who has a different opinion give free reign to his thoughts and speak as much as he likes… Let him sense that he is addressing himself to a calm and uncontentious person. Influence him though your graciousness and prayer and then speak briefly. You achieve nothing if you speak heatedly and tell him, for example, ‘What you are saying is untrue, a downright lie!’ What will you achieve? Be ‘as sheep among wolves’ (Matt 10:16). What should you do? Show indifference outwardly, but be praying inwardly. Be prepared, know what you are talking about and speak boldly and to the point, but with saintliness, meekness and prayer. But in order to be able to do this you must become a saint. 
This last thought is an important one: 
“To be able to do this you must become a saint.”  Ask yourself, "How do I become a saint?"

Reference: Wounded by Love, p 188

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