Chris and his wife Marti have developed Pathweavers as a ministry of connection, healing, and promotion of relationship within the Body of Christ. Chris released his first book, The Gospel Served with the Works in 2020. It presents the supernatural aspects of the Great Commission in a fun and interesting way.

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God’s Power Of Persuasion Is Kindness. Really? – A Word by Chris Grahl

Chris Grahl

While many of us tend to equate God’s power of persuasion with punishment, some might be surprised to hear that this kind of negative reinforcement is not God’s primary way of changing minds. God wants to change our perspective of him and ourselves, not through punitive measures, but by receiving his kindness and his goodness.


Amidst Paul’s admonishment that we be patient with the failings of others, he drops a little morsel of truth worth noting.

“God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4 ESV).

There is much to be learned from this short statement, first of all, having to do with repentance — a word which is grossly misunderstood, and whose misunderstanding has been reinforced over the years. Currently, I’m recalling the scene from the movie Jesus of Nazareth where John the Baptist forces the heads of the soldiers who have come to arrest him under the water as he yelled out, “Repent! Repent!,” as if repentance were a weapon.

Quite simply, the Greek word metanoia used here does not reflect violence, shame, or disregard for safety. Simply, it means to have an afterthought, or a change of mind. God’s kindness is meant to lead us to change our minds about him and his attitude towards us.


As is always the case, imperfect messengers are called to bring the perfect message of the Gospel and the healing evangelists of the mid 20th Century were no exception. Within a decade, the truths they brought concerning God’s kindness would positively affect nearly every denomination from Mennonite to Catholic, Baptist to Presbyterian, and Lutheran to Methodist.

One such personality, Oral Roberts, brought a revolutionary idea to the table which garnered him much ridicule. He simply reiterated Romans 2:4 by declaring that, “God is a good God,” impacting many through healed bodies and changed minds and hearts through the power of God’s goodness.


Both John the Baptist and Jesus had but one primary message, that we should repent (change our minds), because of the nearness of God’s Kingdom (Mt 3:2). Jesus demonstrated the closeness of the Kingdom by demonstrating God’s goodness alongside the message he preached, teaching his disciples to do the same.

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people” (Matthew 4:23 NIV).

“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons” (Matthew 10:7-8 NIV).

God’s goodness can be very persuasive.


While there are many Biblical reports of Jesus showing up and finding folks that would hear his message, there are many notable instances where people sought him out. Consider the woman who reached out and touched his robe in hopes that she would be healed. This actually happened in the middle of Jesus addressing the needs of a local synagogue leader who had also come to him (Lk 8:40-48).

Because of the reports of God’s goodness, these folks were persuaded to set their minds in a new direction, one that would allow them to receive the goodness that they had heard about. There’s no reason we should not do the same.


Often we don’t change our minds because we don’t feel confident that we can change our actions. This is a common fear, but fortunately, there is good news. The one who brings his goodness intends to follow through with it.

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Philippians 1:6 NIV).

“He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8 NIV).

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6 NIV).

The Good News is that God has set it up where we can position ourselves to keep an open mind for change, so that we progressively move forward and keep in step with what He’s doing.

“… Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).


It all starts with a “Yes.” We may or may not have all the feels of a yes, but all we need is an inclination, putting our mind in a “yes” mode to what God is showing. And, it’s okay to ask for samples of his goodness. Consider Moses who asked God to show him his glory.

“…Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory.’ And the Lord said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence’” (Exodus 33:18-19 NIV).

Say yes to God’s power of persuasion. Begin to doubt any preconceptions that he’s not who he says that he is. It’s always a good time for a positive change of heart.

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