You can catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. is an idiom I have heard all of my life. It's meaning is quite clear. It means that you are more likely to persuade people if your arguments are polite rather than confrontational.
Christians who choose to use polite arguments are sometimes seen as being timid, wishy-washy or ashamed of the Gospel by those who choose to take the more aggressive route. However, I wonder...
We do know that the moment people detect an aggressive tone, be it verbal or written, they immediately become alert and get ready to either fight or take flight. Whether justified or not, that is their initial reaction for it is instinctive and is a protective mechanism. We can't help it.
We do know that if people feel they are being attacked, even verbally, most people will shut out what is being said to them. We really do tune people out. While a few people may be compelled to continue to listen, the vast majority will not. They will either walk away or "fight back".
Verbally attacking people is the worst way to attempt to communicate with them and yet this is often how people attempt to communicate the Gospel. What is wrong with us? This is how we share the love of God and the Good News? We yell at people, tell them they don't know anything, strut about with pride oozing from our every pore (only we call it something else) and expect them to listen to us? Why? Who would want to listen to someone like that?
Actions speak louder than words. That is another excellent idiom. When we verbally attack non-Christians or even Christians for that matter, we are showing them who we are; and it is not a pretty sight. It does not matter how many verses of the Bible we quote, people will remember how you delivered them. Did you deliver them with love or with a club?
When we call ourselves "Christians" we are presenting ourselves as a representative of Jesus. What sort of a representative are we?
Is it possible to be a light in this world and present the Gospel in a loving and gentle manner? I believe it is. In fact, I believe that is how it must be! Any other way is no way at all.
Perhaps if people do not heed our words, the problem is not them and it certainly is not the Word of God. Perhaps the problem is... us.