Our verse for today comes from John 12:37, ” But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him. “
Cornell University conducted a study on how and why people are convinced to change their minds. An internet forum called ChangeMyView invites people to share their position on whatever topic they desire and then have others reason against them to try to change their mind. What the research of these arguments showed was that there are specific dynamics that work better than others towards the goal of changing one’s opinion. First, quantity matters. The more people persuading, the greater the effect. Also, using different words to express your point than others used was impactful. Additionally, a longer, calmer explanation was more effective than one that included short, exaggerated statements and extreme emotion. Specific examples worked in one’s persuasive favor, and referencing supportive material also was helpful. And lastly, seeming less dogmatic in your stance produced more positive results. If Jesus came for one thing, it was to change the hearts and minds of man. His life, death, and resurrection offered new life to hearts and minds destined to self- destruction.
And he had others with Him. His twelve disciples, and the other seventy He sent out on short term missions, were more than sufficient to convince. Jesus also talked differently. He spoke of the bread of life, the last being first, dying to live, despising your mother and father, and on and on. His rhetoric was certainly unique. He engaged many in deep conversations, allowing them to hear and examine and draw their own conclusions. He also addressed specific issues, and had nothing less than scripture as His supporting material. But less dogmatic, now that was not going to work. When you are The Way, there’s really no other way to go. When you’re The Truth, all else is false. And when you are The Life, everything else is death, or worse. So when you want to point someone to the Savior, follows Christ’s example. Do it His way, and He will do the convincing.
As we seek Him today, rely less on yourself and more on Christ to show others who and what they need.