Friday, January 23, 2015

DELAYED GRATIFICATION and SPIRITUAL MATURITY

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age", NKJV, Titus 2:11-12
In the present age, the Christian is thinking about the spiritual gratifications that come from the presence of God. Momentary pleasures don't hold the appeal that the future blessings in heaven do.
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Animals don't think beyond the piece of meat in front of their nose. So they eat it. It doesn't matter that it's not theirs. The animal has no rules. Humans who don't care about God are going to necessarily think short-term. They will steal. They will cheat. They will kill. All of their choices are only weighed against possible consequences in this life. The eternal judgment or pleasure of God doesn't come into consideration.

The nature of the Christian walk is one of making choices between the flesh and the spirit. The immediate gratification that fleshly men make is wrong to the Christian. So he chooses against such things that he might be found pleasing to God.

Growing up is the process or maturing from infancy to adult. And it is often a battle to overcome childish ways. Growing up as a Christian is a process of maturing from the childish and unspiritual ways of the past life to become the full grown Christian. This growth takes dedication, diligence, striving, and overcoming. It's a real battle. And without the battle, there is no maturing so the infant remains an undeveloped infant. The spiritual baby that isn't challenged will continue to act like the fleshly and carnal animals who see the piece of meat and eat it whether it should or not.
Paul reminds the Christians about living in the present world in a way that is sober, godly, and righteous which is very much against the grain when we are used to instant gratification.

God's saving grace reminds us of the value of turning away from the worldly path and to live as spiritual adults. It's not that there is no gratification in being a follower of Christ, it's just a delayed and better gratification.
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Here's the link to an interesting article on the societal problem of Instant Gratification, "http://www.bucknell.edu/communications/bucknell-magazine/instant-gratification-and-its-dark-side.html, Accessed 1/27/2015

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