For Long-term Gain, Choose Short-term Pain
“[Moses] chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:25, NIV)
If you’re going to be good at anything -- if you’re going to have long-term gain -- you’ve got to accept short-term pain. Anybody who’s ever played sports knows this. To end up in a championship game, you’ve got to work hard and practice for long hours.
But it’s not just true in sports. It’s true in finances and in relationships. I have a good marriage, but Kay and I have worked hard at it for years. It didn’t come easy. To make your marriage work, you’ve got to work at it, just like anything else in life.
Many of your problems come from your inability to delay gratification. Society teaches you to say, “I want everything, and I want it now. And I want it to be free and easy.” But life doesn’t work like that!
To experience long-term gain, you have to make a choice, like Moses did: “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25 NIV).
He chose to be mistreated -- to endure the short-term pain for the long-term gain of doing the right thing.
Pain is part of life. And if you choose to do the hard thing right now and put in the effort to learn and grow, to become strong and mature, then later in life you will benefit from it.
For example, some people are benefiting right now from decisions they made earlier in life not to spend more than they made -- to save, tithe, and honor God. They’re benefiting many years later because they were disciplined and did the hard thing first.
When you choose the short-term pain like Moses did, you’ll see God deliver you so that you can enjoy the long-term reward.
Talk It Over
What short-term pain are you facing that calls for an eternal perspective?
How have you seen the hard decisions you’ve made or long hours you’ve put in benefit you in the long run?
Why do you think God wants you to choose the hard thing right now, even if it means you have to suffer or endure hardship?
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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