Could vs. Should

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

Old proverb

If someone is doing wrong, we may hold the right position and the authority to tell them so and to tell them what they ought to be doing instead.  We can even try to enforce it but in the end, if it is accomplished, it was not done because they had a change of heart, saw that they were wrong, and chose right.  Rather, they did it because they were made to.  There is no change in them, no growth, and they are not likely to experience the blessings and good that stem from making right choices.  Instead, resentment will likely fester and poison your relationship, their thoughts toward you, the truth you are trying to enforce, and maybe even their thoughts towards God.  Instead of ordering, ask.  Speak and lead out of love for the person, out of care for their eternity.  Show them the choice, and then give them power, the encouragement, and the information needed to make the right one.  Respect will grow in place of resentment, they will experience love and trust which will inspire them to make right choices.  Growth in their own lives will be a result that continues even when your influence is removed.  

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