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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Wednesday, August 12

The wise of heart is called perceptive, and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness.
—Proverbs 16:21

Marketers know the effectiveness of pleasant speech in trying to persuade customers to purchase a product. They use words that are cordial, humorous, informative, or that indicate interest. Then, when the customer is at the point of decision-making, they use words to overcome objections, reinforce benefits and persuade.

The skill of persuasion is well developed in those who are required to make use of it in their work. It is a skill, however, that is not, nor should it be, possessed only by those in careers that demand it. Persuasion can be seen as a friend of the soul. It does not rely on mere pleasant speech, but on authentic "soul" speech. When the words that we speak have been birthed from the womb of an open soul, they persuade, not because they are delivered in a certain way, but because our soul is in them.

These soul words are not words that we think up in order to be clever in our conversation. They come to us out of the silence of grace. They are born in us when we consistently take time to be still in God’s presence. When we simply sit in silent meditation for a few minutes every day, we put our soul into the hands of heaven.

Heaven responds to our willingness to be open and pliable,and our soul begins to be re-shaped. Over time, we find that we are impacting others in ways that we could never have imagined, precisely because our words are saturated with our soul rather than the other way around.

Gracious God, remind me to come into the silence of your presence where I can be formed more and more into your likeness.