The Carrot or the Stick?

We have probably all seen the cartoon of someone riding a donkey, holding a stick with a carrot dangling from a string in front of the donkey’s nose.  The donkey, not being very smart, sees the carrot in front of them and moves ahead in pursuit of the ever elusive carrot.

When that approach no longer works, the rider can take the stick and smack the donkey on the rump to provide a little additional motivation.

What motivates us?  Is it the promise of reward? Or the  fear of punishment?  Do we have other options?

I would like to think that we are motivated by something that is more than simply the threat of punishment or the promise of reward.  I would like to think that we can be motivated by the present, presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.   

The presence of the Holy Spirit provides ultimately all that we need to fulfill the calling of God in our lives.  If we have been made alive in the spirit, then we can learn to walk in the power, and presence, of the Holy Spirit.  It is not dependent either on the threat of punishment or the promise of reward but rather on an internal quickening, that is not something of this world, but something that is  expressed in this world by a changed life.

God can sometimes use the carrot or the stick, but I think that it is better to be motivated by the Holy Spirit that is a very real presence in the lives of those who seek to walk with God.

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5 Responses to “The Carrot or the Stick?”

  1. Gary Carlson Says:

    Well-stated. The Holy Spirit shows us things we cannot otherwise understand, leads us into avenues where we would never seek to walk. In many ways, the Spirit-led life is a reward in itself.

  2. Posts about Holy Spirit as of April 19, 2009 | PRAYtheREVOLUTION Says:

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  3. Gloria Says:

    I much prefer the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit. When that is ignored than to quote Opal “one may find oneself in the woodshed”

  4. Pastor Curt Says:

    May God help us to hear his “gentle whisper”, and may we willingly follow his guidance.

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