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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

Source: "Russian opposition leader Navalny's name shifts snow in Moscow," By Adam Robinson, BBC Monitoring, February 12, 2018

Link to Source: Click here to view source

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

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

The BBC reports, 

Moscow residents say they have found that the only way to get the council to clear snow is to write the name of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on it. Mr Navalny is Russia's best-known critic of President Vladimir Putin.

Posts on Facebook and Twitter have received thousands of likes, after disgruntled residents took to social media, saying that they tried spray-painting "Navalny" on the city's deep snow out of frustration at the authorities' slowness in removing them.

One user said the move prompted immediate reaction and that council workers removed the graffiti "within hours".

APPLICATION

If you want to get a problem taken care of in Russia, spray paint the name of an opposition leader on it and it will disappear. Apparently, the Russian government is more motivated by the fear of opposition than it is by the idea of serving its communities.  

How about you? What motivates you, self-preservation or service? 

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34). 

The Drowning Stranger Dilemma

Morality Atheism Motivation

Source: Blog Page: Well Spent Journey

Link to Source: Click here to view source

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

Author: "Matt" at Well Spent Journey
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ILLUSTRATION

This is from the Well Spent Journey blog.

Excerpt:

Here’s a thought experiment.

_____

Imagine that you’re a healthy, athletic, 20-year-old male. It’s the morning after a thunderstorm, and you’re standing on the banks of a flooded, violently churning river.

You notice an object floating downstream.

As it moves closer, you suddenly realize that this object is a person. The head breaks the surface, and you see a panic-stricken elderly woman gasping for air. You’ve never met her before, but vaguely recognize her as an impoverished widow from a neighboring village.

You look around for help, but there’s no one in sight. You have only seconds to decide whether or not to jump in after her – recognizing that doing so will put your own life in significant peril.

APPLICATION

The author continues:

Is it rational for you to risk your life to save this stranger? Is it morally good to do so?

For the Christian, both of these questions can be answered with an emphatic “yes”.

The Christian is called to emulate the example set forth by Jesus, who not only risked, but sacrificed his life for the sake of others. The Christian believes that the soul is eternal, and that one’s existence doesn’t come to an abrupt end with death.  Additionally, he can point to the examples of countless Christian martyrs who have willingly sacrificed their own lives.

For the secular humanist, the answers to these questions are much more subjective. When I previously asked 23 self-identifying atheists, “Is it rational for you to risk your life to save a stranger?” only 4 of them responded with an unqualified “yes”.

Biologically speaking, the young man in our scenario has nothing to gain by jumping after the drowning woman. Since she’s poor and elderly, there are no conceivable financial or reproductive advantages involved. Evolutionary biologists often speak of “benefit to the tribe” as a motivation for self-sacrifice…yet the young man’s community would certainly place greater practical value on his life than that of a widow from a neighboring village.

Secular humanists argue that people are capable of making ethical decisions without any deity to serve as Moral Lawgiver. On a day-to-day basis, this is undeniably true. We all have non-religious friends and neighbors who live extremely moral and admirable lives.

In the scenario above, however, secular ethics break down. The secular humanist might recognize, intuitively, that diving into the river is a morally good action. But he has no rational basis for saying so. The young man’s decision is between empathy for a stranger (on the one hand) and utilitarian self-interest & community-interest (on the other).

In the end, there can be no binding moral imperatives in the absence of a Moral Lawgiver. If the young man decides to sit back and watch the woman drown, the secular humanist cannot criticize him. He’s only acting rationally.

The Protracted Replay Of Bitterness

Forgiveness Bitterness Motivation

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

Scripture: Ephesians 4:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Crying Babies On A Plane

Motivation Reward Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-08-09

Scripture: John 13:34

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Will Pray For Pay

Prayer Motivation Witness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-05-27

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:18 ; Luke 16:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
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