How Gary Larson’s mind works baffles me. He is the creator of The Far Side, a cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to more than 1,900 newspapers, I still chuckle daily reading his 2021 calendar. One panel cartoon showed a picture of some tough guys holding a child’s whiffle ball bat. They’re surrounding some dude saying, “still no money? Ok, we’ll see if Rudy and his whiffle bat can encourage you.” The caption under the cartoon says Ineffective Tools of Persuasion. Larson is simply stating the obvious. You think?
I used to think that persuasion was a bad word. “You and I should never try to persuade someone. Let them think on their own.” I only thought that way until I grew up. Part of being a parent is using every possible means to “persuade” your kids to do the right thing and make the right decision. If I know the truth about something, why wouldn’t I want to persuade you in the right direction? If I had the answers to world hunger and cure for cancer, it would be morally wrong to withhold that information because “I want them to think on their own without influence.”
Paul was in the Greek city of Corinth. He met a Christian couple named Aquila and Priscilla. Then, in verse 4 of Acts 18, he says this: “Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” Paul’s life and ministry were always about persuading people about the truth of the Gospel. Be bold when you talk about Jesus and don’t use a whiffle ball bat.