Carrot and Stick

You may be familiar with this metaphor for reward and punishment for inducing and reinforcing desired behavior.  

In politics it can represent the realist concept of soft and hard power. 

I don’t know about you, but for me, I am much more motivated by the carrot than the stick. 


When it comes to my FAITH, it has absolutely nothing to do with a fear of hell or eternal damnation for me personally. 

I grew up with a clear understanding of the Hebrew word “Sheol” which for some is the equivalent of Hades (Spirit Underworld) or Hell (Eternal torment with hellfire and brimstone). 
However, the word and concept “Sheol” in my home has always been interpreted as “the grave” or one’s final resting place for eternity… ashes to ashes, dust to dust. 

So I am not intimidated or fear-driven by this concept at all. 

Same idea applies to my sobriety. 

I hear many people in recovery share that if they go back out again, fall off the wagon,  so to speak, they will surely die of their “disease.” 

I don’t doubt for one second that is their truth. 

However, it is not mine. 

First of all, I don’t see it as a disease.

 A condition, allergy, illness — sure thing! 
It may sound like a minor distinction, but in my mind there is an important difference.   

Either way, the good news is it is treatable and recovery works— IF we work it AND by the grace of GOD! 

The point here is which one is more effective for you… the carrot (reward) or the stick (punishment)? 

By the way, they are both “natural consequences” for our actions. 

Sometimes the Natural Consequences of losing a relationship you love can be more painfully effective than the legalistic consequences of a citation or detention. 

Think about it. 

 Consequences can be positive or negative, depending on our choices and our perceptions. 

I am highly motivated by the JOY the gift of sobriety provides one day at a time! 

I don’t take it for granted. 

And I don’t stay out of fear of the stick should I choose to drink. 

Same goes for my Spiritual Beliefs…

I believe with my Whole Heart because I have experienced first hand the LOVE, care, and compassion of Jesus!
—NOT because I fear hellfire and eternal damnation if choose not to believe.
 The stick doesn’t work for me. 
The carrot, on the other hand — We LOVE because He first LOVED US works wonders for me personally. 1 John 4:19 
Yes, I am well aware this particular blog post is inevitably going to rub some self-righteous Christian modern day doctrinal scribes and Pharisees the wrong way. 
So be it. 
In the melodic lyrics of Francesca Battistelli 
ᴛʜᴇ ʙʀᴇᴀᴋ ᴜᴘ sᴏɴɢ “Fear you don’t own me There ain’t no room in this story…” 
Fear of the stick in the forms of embarrassment, judgment, criticism, drunkenness, emotional or physical pain and suffering, death, or even Hell doesn’t dictate or drive my actions today. 
The sweet satisfaction of the carrot in the form of JOY wandering through a field of wild flowers,  exquisitely, mindfully sober in the loving arms of my Savior Jesus is all the motivation I need to be HOPEFULLY devoted to Him forever and ever❤️ ♡︎
Which is it for you? The carrot or the stick or both? Our Lives