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The Dangers of Instant Gratification

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How would you describe your current season of life?

Exciting? Stressful? Busy? Fulfilling? Maybe dull or dissatisfying?

I recently got engaged to one of the most incredible men of God I have ever met. This season is a time for so much excitement and rejoicing, yet I long to be married so much that I just want to skip the fiancée phase completely and be his wife.

We live in a world of immediacy. When we want something, we want it right then and there. This desire also makes us more likely to settle for something half as great as we could have if we were only willing to wait.

Forgoing the future benefit for a more immediate but less rewarding benefit is called instant gratification.

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Society will tell us that we deserve to have what we want right now. We shouldn’t have to wait to make our desires a reality.

If I want to be married right now, shouldn’t I just be able to elope? I should be able to move into the next season of my life when I want, right?

While I could be married tomorrow if I really wanted to, I know that this isn’t the wisest decision for me and my fiancé. We need this time to prepare our hearts spiritually to become one. To do that, we must wait to be married.

Waiting is hard, but oh it is so worth it. But I fear that we would rather experience the fleeting pleasure of instant gratification than the immense and complete lasting joy that comes from waiting on the Lord’s timing.

The Bible tells us to “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7, ESV) and that “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25, ESV).

Waiting for the Lord is hard, but it is so good. God’s timing is far better than our own. God tells us that his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He knows what we are waiting on and He knows when it is best for us to have it.

When we wait on the Lord, we wait for a great blessing. When we take matters into our own hands and do what we want right when we want it, we miss out on the Lord’s blessing. Faith grows in the waiting. Failing to wait is failing to grow.

I want to be married right now, but I know that God is growing our faith and shaping us into a strong, godly husband and wife. Because of that, our marriage will be better. We will experience greater blessings because of our waiting.

Instant gratification doesn’t allow for these blessings to be fully realized. We tend to want something at a certain moment because it will feel good to have whatever desire we have to be gratified.

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This is why instant gratification is so appealing — it promises to make us happy right now. It is dangerous because it fails to reveal how long that happiness will last.

Sin is appealing for similar reasons. When we sin, we often feel good in the moment, but conviction and guilt soon follows and the small amount of gratification we did feel is gone.

Having everything you want right when you want it is so tempting because of what it promises. But the Lord promises more to those who wait on Him.

Whatever season you find yourself in, wait on the Lord and His blessing.

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Hannah Salyer is a follower of Jesus who loves writing about her faith and sharing the gospel through her work. She is a graduate of Cedarville University (2022) with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Information Design and minors in Bible and Women's Ministry. Hannah loves coffee, reading, and hammocking in the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee.
Hannah Salyer is a follower of Jesus who loves writing about her faith and sharing the gospel through her work. She is a graduate of Cedarville University (2022) with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Information Design and minors in Bible and Women's Ministry. Hannah loves coffee, reading, and hammocking in the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee.




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