I've been thinking about pressure...

Not Under Compulsion

Compulsion - the state of being compelled
Compelled - to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly; to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure

Have you noticed that compelling someone to do something does not work very well? What is our natural reaction to pressure? To dig in our heels, of course. So why do we persist in trying to motivate others this way?

I know, by personal experience, that if I act in the pressure of the moment, I may later regret my action. Regret kills - murders the effect - of any satisfaction I might find in doing what I thought was right or good to do in the first place.

2 Corinthians 9:6&7 provides an interesting look into motivation when it says, The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Here are some related words to the "not under compulsion" idea:
not of grief
not regretting his gift, as if it were wrung from him (!)
not sorrowfully
not with sadness
not by constraint

The Apostle Paul, who wrote these words, never employed high-pressure methods in raising church funds. In his first letter to Corinth he asked that monies be given systematically, on a regular weekly basis, specifically so that there would be no pressure to collect an offering when he arrived.

I think we can safely launch from this idea into determining that pressure that produces action motivated by all the wrong reasons is certainly at the very least, demotivating and most often unproductive and useless.

In contrast, Jesus wisely used attraction to motivate people He came in contact with all throughout His ministry on this earth. He taught the value of becoming "fishers of men" to His disciples as a metaphor for successfully drawing individuals to the truth.

Fishermen use lures as an enticement to catch fish. Lures hint of pleasure and gain. What is the best way to gain the attention of someone? Show genuine interest in them and their well-being.

It takes more time to be patient to understand a person and what motivates them than it does to beat them into submission through exerting pressure. I know I brighten when someone understands what makes me tick and then delights my fancy by showing me a better way. How about you?