Delayed Gratification


Being able to delay gratification is a sign of contentment. Chuck Bentley explains.

“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”
(Proverbs 21:20 NIV)

Being able to delay gratification is a sign of contentment. For example, if you have worn carpet but can wait to replace it until you’ve saved the money, you are delaying gratification.

Another example is the Marshmallow Test. Give a marshmallow to a child and offer more marshmallows on the condition that she will wait 20 minutes before eating the first one. Most children don’t pass the test and eat the first marshmallow before the time is up.

The world convinces us that if we desire something, we should have it now. If you buy into this philosophy, you won’t be content until you have a particular item in your possession—even if it means buying it with credit. But having a relationship with God should give you contentment regardless of your circumstances.

The apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13 NIV).

When you’re having difficulty delaying gratification, remember that whatever you buy will only be new for a short time. And, in a matter of weeks, you’ll probably be thinking about buying something else.

Things quickly lose their significance and their luster. It is better to be content with knowing Christ because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV).

Daily Scripture Reading:
Psalms 83, 86, 88, 91, 95

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