If People Are Good Only Because They Fear Punishment

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

The scriptures tell us that we are to love one another because Christ first loved us. So, the practicing Christian does good out of appreciation and thanksgiving to God. Yes, our good works should be in response to the grace of God, not to earn his grace or avoid his punishment. Unfortunately, many people only do good out of fear of getting caught doing bad.

Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think. Is the above quote Biblical, or did some other wise person say it? Are they right? Do you agree that grace should precede works like the horse in front of the cart?

Cart in Front of Horse


If People Are Good Only Because They Fear Punishment — 7 Comments

  1. Yes, grace is the horse, works is the cart – great picture! I do agree with this quote but it is not in the Bible. I believe Einstein said it.

  2. Faith without works is dead. Paul said show me your works without faith and I will show you my works by my faith. So we have faith but in what? Gods grace to save us. And we have works but where? In our leading others to christ. So, We have Grace, Faith and Works in that order and you cannot have one without the other.

  3. You do realize this is a quote by Einstein about religion. Einstein was an atheist and is questioning the belief in god in this quote.

  4. Yes, this is an Einstein quote but I believe it is more about him questioning the motivation of people and not about his religious beliefs. It is sad that many are motivated by fear rather than love.

  5. As much as youd like to thank otherwise, ask any common religious man why he is so. He knows to be true (even though he might not say) that he fears hell and hopes for the reward of seeing his loved ones again. He doesnt care about the love of jesus but he will never admit such a blasphemus thought

  6. Josh, actually, Einstein preferred the label “agnostic,” stating, “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”

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