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The Carrot And The Stick

Motivation Fear Love (Uncondtional)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-12-20

Scripture: 1 John 4:18 ; 1 John 4:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

Carrot and stick motivation is a motivational approach that involves offering a reward—for good behavior and a negative consequence for poor behavior. 

The Carrot and Stick approach of motivation is based on the principles of reinforcement set forth by philosopher Jeremy Bentham, during the industrial revolution. It is derived from the old story of a donkey, who was motivated by a carrot dangling in front of him and the jab of a stick from behind.

APPLICATION

Some people are carrot people and some are stick people.  Among Christians, the carrot people attend prosperity churches (where prosperity is promised to those with the appropriate amount of faith), while the stick people attend more legalistic churches (where punishment is threatened to those who fall short of obedience).

But when God’s love is described as unconditional in the Bible, it is saying that God has put down the stick and has thrown away the carrot.  God’s unconditional love is not a bribe.  God’s unconditional love is not a threat.

The truth is, neither the carrot nor the stick can produce unconditional love.  Both motivations are based on fear, so they are only able to produce fear and insecurity.  But when a person receives God’s unconditional love, all fear in their relationship with God is immediately dispatched.  That person becomes free of the carrot and of the stick.  Instead of being controlled by fear, they are now free to love God just because they want to, not because they are afraid not to. 

Only God's unconditional love can transform a human heart so that love is the only motivation it needs.  

"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first" (1 John 4:18-19).  

Asking The Wrong Question

Love for God Motivation Legalism

Source: preacherpollard.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2020-08-16

Scripture: Hebrews 10:25

Author: Neal Pollard
8

ILLUSTRATION

  • I’ve never heard the avid fisherman say, “Do I have to go back to the lake?”
  • I’ve never heard the shopaholic say, “How often do I have to go to the store?”
  • I’ve never heard the committed sports fan say, “How many games do I have to watch?”
  • I’ve never heard the foodie say, “How often do I have to try a new restaurant or dish?”
  • I’ve never heard the head-over-heels-in-love say, “How many times do I have to see him/her each week?”
  • I’ve never heard the devoted mom say, “How often must I hold my baby?”

APPLICATION

We’ve lost the battle when our sermons, articles, and classes center around answering the question, “How often must I assemble? How many times a week do I have to come to church? Are Sunday night and Wednesday night mandatory?”

How unnatural for a disciple, a committed follower of Jesus who is in love with Him and who has such a relationship with Him that He is priority number one, to approach the assemblies in such a way! MustHave to? You see, the question is wrong. The mentality and approach is where the work needs to occur.

When Jesus and His Church are my passion, the thought-process becomes “I get to,” “I want to,” and “I will!” Neither parents, grandparents, spouses, elders, preachers, siblings, nor anyone else should have to get behind to push the one who has put Jesus at the heart and center of their lives.

"Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25). 

What Shamu Taught Me About Marriage

Marriage Humor Motivation

Source: "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage," The New York Times (6-25-06)

Contributed By: John Reed | Date Posted: 2018-07-21

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:8

Author: Amy Sutherland
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ILLUSTRATION

Amy Sutherland, in an article she wrote for the New York Times called, "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage," expresses her frustration over her husbands irritating habits:

These minor annoyances are not the stuff of separation and divorce, but in sum they began to dull my love for Scott. I wanted—needed—to nudge him a little closer to perfect, to make him into a mate who might annoy me a little less, who wouldn't keep me waiting at restaurants, a mate who would be easier to love.

So, like many wives before me, I ignored a library of advice books and set about improving him. By nagging, of course, which only made his behavior worse: he'd drive faster instead of slower; shave less frequently, not more; and leave his reeking bike garb on the bedroom floor longer than ever.

A breakthrough came when Amy began traveling to a school for exotic animal trainers in California in order to research a book she wanted to write:

I listened, rapt, as professional trainers explained how they taught dolphins to flip and elephants to paint. Eventually it hit me that the same techniques might work on that stubborn but loveable species, the American husband.

APPLICATION

Ms. Sutherland concludes:

The central lesson I learned from exotic animal trainers is that I should reward behavior I like and ignore behavior I don't. After all, you don't get a sea lion to balance a ball on the end of its nose by nagging. The same goes for the American husband. Back in Maine, I began thanking Scott if he threw one dirty shirt into the hamper. If he threw in two, I'd kiss him. Meanwhile, I would step over any soiled clothes on the floor without one sharp word, though I did sometimes kick them under the bed. But as he basked in my appreciation, the piles became smaller.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).

How To Get Things Done In Russia

Servanthood Control Motivation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-04-16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Drowning Stranger Dilemma

Morality Atheism Motivation

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2017-05-03

Author: "Matt" at Well Spent Journey
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The Protracted Replay Of Bitterness

Forgiveness Bitterness Motivation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-01-07

Scripture: Ephesians 4:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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God Is Watching You

God's Omnipresence Perspective Motivation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-11-18

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:17 ; Hebrews 4:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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The Homeland of the Bribe

Motivation Grace Legalism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-20

Scripture: 1 John 4:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
8

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Violations Of The Heart

Motivation Sin Lust

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-06

Scripture: Matthew 5:28

Author: Illustration Exchange
9

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Free To Be A Walmart Greeter

Redemption Servanthood Motivation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-08-27

Scripture: Colossians 3:10 ; Colossians 3:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

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