The more instantly gratified you are…

[Notice: I’m on vacation for August. So this month’s devotionals are some favourites from the past few years – and also previews of my upcoming book: “Up! – 313 Devotionals To Help You Start Your Day In A Biblical, Relevant Way.” Enjoy!]

Have you ever been to a public protest? If so, you’ve probably heard some chanting.

Usually the leader is equipped with a bullhorn and yells out, “What do we want?!” Then the people respond with their demand. Then the leader says, “When do we want it?” And the people reply, “Now!”

I think this is slowly becoming the mantra of our society. Whatever we want, we want it…


I forget where I heard it, but I recall a story from a Halloween several years ago. A man’s doorbell rang and he went to answer it expecting some kids. But instead, he found a full-grown woman. “It’s for my daughter,” she said, as if offering an apology and explanation.

Apparently, it was cold that night. So the mom—not wanting to deprive her daughter of the unbearable suffering that would surely come with trick-or-treating in the chilly weather—drove the daughter around in her car. The daughter didn’t even get dressed up. Instead, the girl just sat there in the car while her mom got a costume on and went door-to-door on her behalf! To top it all off, the daughter fell asleep! When she woke up, she would have a bag full of candy and an exhausted mommy.

I have a theory: The more instantly gratified you are the less permanently satisfied you are.

Truth is, it’s so easy to buy into instant gratification these days. Credit cards give us the impression that we can afford things (which we can’t), social media gives us the impression that everyone is having a good time every single day (which they’re not), and commercials give us the impression that life is all about satisfying our various appetites (which it’s not).

But the more we cave to instant gratification, the more we feed a life of ingratitude.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t indulge yourself sometimes. In fact, I probably do it a bit more than I should! But when instant gratification becomes a daily habit, we become less thankful, less disciplined, and start to feel entitled to more than our share.

The more instantly gratified you are the less permanently satisfied you are.

Psalm 118:24 (ESV) says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Today, be content. Be thankful. What if it was already enough?

By Matthew Ruttan

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