Tools For Motivation

Oct 12, 2016, 6:45 PM |

by HJS

Everybody is a motivator of one kind or another. There are loud, blustery people who yell and make people jump, and there are quiet "give-'em-a-look-that-turns-blood-to-ice-water" people. The quiet, manipulative kind may be the greatest persuaders, but the way they do it is cruel.

"Most of us," writes Em Griffin, in his book, The Mind Changers, "use guilt as a device to get others to do what we want. Using guilt as a motivator, however, has negative side effects. People resent and avoid you, and, if they do what you expect, their conduct doesn't last. They quickly sink back to the previous level of performance."

I don't have to tell a man with a drinking problem, "You are ruining your life and family." He feels the shame and he knows that in his heart. But if I help that man to see himself from God's perspective and from the perspective of reality, he then will come to realize that the one who is being hurt the most is himself. Then remorseful feelings will become the convicting tool of the Holy Spirit that brings repentance resulting in real change.

Allowing the Holy Spirit to apply the pressure to people is letting them face the consequences of their own failures instead of cushioning the shock for them. Fear is another motivator. When our office was burglarized a few years ago, we were immediately motivated to install an alarm and place bars in windows.

Another motive for behavioral change is reward, which includes a wide variety of things: praise, affirmation, love, and so on. But without a question, love is the most powerful motivation in the world when it comes to lasting, long-term changes in our lives. Try love, sometimes "tough love," rather than shame, guilt or fear.


"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"'  MATTHEW 25:21