The Danger of Instant Gratification

Our society continues to condition itself around the ideal of instant gratification: getting something desirable in the shortest time possible. From drive-thru service at fast food establishments to the binge-encouraging autoplay feature on streaming video services, it seems just about every aspect of life has an element shaped by the on-demand mindset. 

What happens when our minds become conditioned to this way of thinking--not just consuming food and entertainment, but in every other expectation and decision we make in our lives? We are quick to abandon plans, change course, or make impulse decisions that ultimately do more harm than good. This is true in all aspects of life, especially in our walk with God. 

Often times, the allure of sin is this kind of "instant gratification" that appeals to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of possessions (I John 2:16). Why wait for God's vengeance when I can get even now? Why submit to a husband or wife when I can mess around in "casual" relationships, in person or in cyberspace? Why struggle through feelings of sorrow, anger or confusion when I can numb myself with alcohol or drugs? When we desire the road of least resistance, we desire only trouble for ourselves in the end.

Can you see the slippery slope? If we embrace the "my way right now" attitude that is popular in our culture, especially toward those areas of life that are only done well with time, hard work, and perseverence, we are priming our minds and our hearts for desires that lead to separation from God. Instead, we must train ourselves in self-control and diligence, and we must allow God to transform and renew our minds to be set on the desires He has for us! (See Romans 12:1-2 and Galatians 5:16-24.) 

The payoff may not be immediate, but the blessings are eternal.