21. DELAYED GRATIFICATION LIFESTYLE

"It is not God's will that His ministers should seek to be rich. Regarding this, Paul wrote to Timothy: 'The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.' By example as well as by precept, the ambassador for Christ is to 'charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life' (1 Timothy 6:10, 11, 17-19)."

APPLICATION

a. Principle Focus (review)

Delayed gratification--the state of delaying reception of some desired source of pleasure or satisfaction; the putting off of a reward or recompense for a task that is often difficult and ignored.

b. Scriptural Foundation (study)

Galatians 6 intones that the law of the universe is operative. If we sow the wrong seeds, we will reap the wrong plants. We set actions and reactions in motion by our deeds. The reasoning is that it is better to put off that which is counterproductive (delayed gratification) and feel the pain than to indulge and reap the penalties.

c. Behavior Outcomes (model)

  • I examine my life periodically to see where gratification can be delayed. Only I can choose.
  • Values, character, and destiny are caught up with delayed gratification.

d. Personal Assessment (evaluate)

How satisfied am I with the development of this characteristic in my ministry? (Circle one.)

1 2 3 4 5
Extremely
Dissatisfied
Somewhat
Satisfied
Extremely
Satisfied

e. Action Plan (implement)

What will I do to increase my effectiveness in this area? (Write your intentions.)




MEDITATION

"Lord, Moses, Joseph, Daniel, and other notables exercised delayed gratification. We too have the opportunity to do so. But lest we get morbid or overly obsessive, You are not against joy and innocent laughter, and so we should do all things in balance. As we mature in the Christian walk we will find that decisions once difficult will become more natural. Lord, help us in those unguarded moments."