Apparently, Rush Limbaugh isn’t trying to win Sandra Fluke to his side.
After she testified in support of mandatory employer health coverage of contraception before a nonofficial congressional committee Mr. Limbaugh called Ms. Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Can you imagine her saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry I testified. I can see now I was wrong. Thanks for setting me straight with those tactful words.” Ain’t gonna happen.
You can’t win someone to your side when you are in an adversarial relationship with them.
I once heard someone say you can’t win someone to your side when you’re in an adversarial relationship with them. You won’t win someone who is pro-abortion to your side by getting in their face and yelling, “Murderer! Baby killer!” God tells us how to address those who oppose us:
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
First of all we should not be quarrelsome. We shouldn’t love to fight. We shouldn’t love to get in there and argue. Some people thrive on conflict. Some people think they’re always right and smarter than everyone else. It’s not enough to have the truth. God cares about how we present the truth. He cares about our attitude when we present the truth.
Next we should be “kind to everyone.” Everyone. Even our enemies. For we were once God’s enemies and he was kind to us.
We must patiently endure evil ourselves, and when we correct our opponents we must do it “with gentleness.” Not sarcasm, insults, or inflammatory slurs.
Proverbs says a harsh word stirs up anger but a gentle answer turns away wrath (Pr 15.21). We won’t win anyone to our side with harsh words – we’ll only make them angry and entrench them more deeply against us. But when we correct them with gentleness, we will turn away their wrath, and that can prepare the way for God to work.
Which is where we must put our trust. Not in our persuasiveness or superior reasoning or arguing skills but in God. That’s why Paul tells Timothy, correct with gentleness in the hope that “God may perhaps grant them repentance…”
Christians must certainly stand for truth and speak out. But let us address our opponents with kindness and gentleness, then trust God to do what only he can do – change their hearts.