Obedience is successful and fruitful when obeyed by invitation and not by force. If we comply because there is no other choice, we have really only obeyed from fear of consequence. Threat is a very poor way to have lasting results. It may work for the moment, but it will fail in the long run.
Monty Roberts writes in, “The Man Who Listens to Horses,” “for centuries humans have said to horses you do what I tell you or I will hurt you. Humans still say that to each other, still threaten and force and intimidate. I am convinced that my discoveries with horses will also have value in the work place, in the educational and penal systems and in the raising of children. At heart I am saying no one has the right to say you must to an animal—or to another human.”
I also say you cannot form and train children, dogs, horses, etc. by threat, fear, anger, intimidation or forcefully striking. That’s a thug, not a teacher, not a trainer. We train better with our voice than with a stick.
Jesus said, “Listen, I am standing at the door, knocking, if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” Invitation is a choice. Any relationship with Jesus is because we opened the door and not because he crashed it down and made forced entry. There is no, “you must,” but only, “I will.”
“Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.” Jesus