Instant gratification is something that I have been thinking about a lot recently. There are so many things that I want, or things that I would like to be better at and I want them all right now!
These days we have everything at our fingertips. We can heat our dinner in the microwave and be eating in minutes, if we want to know something, we Google it, if we want to get hold of someone we text them (and normally get a reply within minutes), if we want to know a bible verse we look it up on our phone (is it just me or are the days of actually memorising scripture gone?).
Anyway, the point is that we have become used to getting things right away… but there is so much more reward and satisfaction when we wait and work hard for things.
Proverbs 13:11 springs to mind. That says, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it” (ESV).
I think as humans we need something to work hard towards. Delayed gratification is actually good for us and I feel like I have been lacking it a little bit in the last few years, especially having fallen (with little effort on my part) into both my previous and current jobs. I have also noticed that when I decide I want to do something, I tend to jump into it straight away with no or little research and expect fast results. For example, when I started this blog, I started it immediately without doing any proper research about blogging because I wanted to start it right that minute!
There are so many verses in the bible that say we should work hard. Here are just a few that I found:
- Ecclesiastes 9:10: Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest
- Colossians 3:23: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men
- Proverbs 18:9: He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster
- Romans 12:11: Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord
- Proverbs 14:23: In all labour there is profit.
In fact, working hard and then enjoying the fruit of our labours is a gift from God:
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:13
My sister is amazing at art (in fact all three of my siblings are great at art). And it’s not just because they have some natural talent for it (though that may be part of it), but they have spent hours and hours of time building their skills, perfecting things, experimenting. If you want to be good at something, you have to work for it. How do you think Christ had so much knowledge and always had the perfect answer for the questions thrown at him?
Having had the above thoughts, one of my new personal goals was to pick something (one thing at a time) that I want to work on, and be persistent with it and work hard at it. The first thing I picked was adding exercise into my life to become healthier and stronger and also to help with anxiety. I have started this a few times over the last couple of years but always gave up after a couple of weeks… and the reason was because I was wanting to see results immediately (and obviously wasn’t!).
Now that I have accepted that I’m not going to see results straight away and also have a drive to actually work for what I want, I have been able to stick at it consistently for six weeks… it doesn’t seem like much but it is much longer than I have ever managed in the past and actually feels like it’s becoming a habit now.
What’s something that you want to work harder at in your life?