The football coach who chews out his players is doing it to motivate them. The parent who demands, “Sit down and do your homework before you go out,” is seeking to motivate. The pastor who preaches a fiery sermon on coming judgment is seeking to use fear to motivate his congregation to action.
We have so many ways of attempting to move people. We set goals for them, and urge them to achieve. We make rules, and insist that others keep them. We shame, urge, condemn, and plan competitions in the hope that something will move others to respond.
Golden cow-chip award
The unhappy wife nags her husband, the disappointed parent belittles his child, and even the proud parent withholds praise in an effort to stimulate still higher achievement.
And all of them, at times, wonder, “Why?”
“Why doesn’t my husband improve?”
“Why doesn’t my child try?”
“Why don’t members of our congregation get involved?”
The answer to all these questions is the same: It is because we’re trying to use man’s approach to motovate others . And as Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 1 and 2, human wisdom is not God’s kind of wisdom. God has His own unique and vital way of doing His work in our lives.