“I am by nature a dealer in words, and words are the most powerful drug known to humanity.”Rudyard Kipling
While I understand where he was headed, unfortunately, Rudyard Kipling undervalued the power of a life well lived.
. . . they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wivesI Peter 3:1b ESV
While words can at times be potent, the reflection of God in my daily actions speaks even louder. The context here specifically addresses a marriage, the most intimate of human relationships, but many of the calls to action have broader application.
If our desire is to “win someone over” to our thinking or to encourage them to consider our faith, we should consider our conduct carefully.
let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. . . do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.I Peter 3:4-6 ESV
More on living a gentle life follows this in a section about relating to other believers:
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless,I Peter 3:8-9 ESV
That is a pretty high calling — beautify your inner person, be respectful, keep your conduct pure, have a gentle, quiet (tranquil, unflappable) spirit, not arguing or resisting (the opposite of defending self-interest), humble, hope in God, do good, do not fear.
We cannot shoulder the blame for a lack of response in others or view these attributes as the perfect recipe for salvation of a loved one. We all strive to do better in these specific areas and pray that God would open their eyes to His working in our lives that will draw them to seek answers for the hope and difference they see in us. This is a Holy Spirit byproduct in our own lives as well as the residual response from others, also courtesy of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is hard at work developing these traits in our lives, and we need to submit first to His work there and then leave the results in others’ lives up to Him also.
Lord, thank you for the power of living life where others can see us. Use me to speak well, but more importantly to live well. May I not be known for well-crafted arguments, or even worse, emotional tirades, but for a quiet life of humility that places others before myself and in which my good deeds continually point my neighbors to you. In Jesus name, Amen.