Don’t Settle: Avoiding Instant Gratification
Written by Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur
Lately I’ve come to realize that one of the main ways I can avoid settling for anything less than God’s best for my life is to avoid giving in to the need for instant gratification. At the root of it all is anxiety. Sometimes we may have an unmet need or desire and are anxiously motivated to do act, get, or say something quick to fulfill the need or desire (instant gratification).
Many have learned the hard way that instant gratification does not pay. In fact, some would agree there is more loss than gain if anything. Some of us have learned on a larger scale than others. Some of us have seen the damage that many have incurred because of instant gratification.
Some of the ways people have given into being instantly gratified is as follows:
- A job taken because of desperation and all the signs were there it was a bad offer
- Marrying a person that God did not choose knowing that the person was not the one
- Buying a house that was not fitting and more of a problem than a blessing of prosperity
- Not waiting for a sale when the Spirit prompted only to waste a great amount of money in the long run
- Settling for a fake imitation product rather than the real product because of a pressing need to have it now
- Simply doing something quick, fast, and in a hurry when God said wait or flat out no
- Fornicating and feel full of guilt afterwards because of the sin against God and oneself
The list can go on. The former stated is just a few out of many. Overall, settling, in any situation, for anything other than God’s best for us leaves us shorthanded in the end and often with problems of some sort within the context. That is not God’s will for us. We are the apple of His eye and He longs to bless and prosper us.
Someone reading this may say, true, I don’t want to settle, but how do I avoid giving into the trap of instant gratification? I don’t know all the answers but one thing I have learned in my walk with God is that dealing with anxiety in our hearts does help significantly. God says in His word be anxious for nothing.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)
Praising God and talking to Him about our unmet needs and desires in total transparency helps. When we keep feelings about these things bottled up, buried, and then seek to fulfill them ourselves we cause ourselves more pain. The anxiety builds up and then instant gratification takes over and we go in circles and then struggles in these areas become cyclic. To avoid this damaging cycle, we can ask God for the strength to wait on Him, for His will to be done, and to comfort us as we wait. He will honor that prayer and help us. He desires that we wait patiently for Him to act.
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. – Psalm 37:7a (NLT)
God wants us to live in His peace and trust that He will provide for us accordingly. He will take of the things that concern us.
The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. – Psalm 138:8 (NASB)
I learned that when I feel the urge to act, say, or get anything out of turn the Holy Spirit will check me and I can yield. When we obey His leading we get to see how He manifests the blessings He has for us in a way that brings Him glory and truly blesses our life instead of stressing us out. I have witnessed God’s manifested blessing in my life i.e. marriage, job, and in other areas in my life because of Him providing it all instead of me attempting to fulfill my own needs and desires. I do give Him the glory for it because I once tried, failed, and learned I could not do it in my own strength but He helped me to let Him do it. I also learned that after enough problems due to giving in to the trap of instant gratification and settling for less than God’s best for me it produced grief instead of happiness. I am no glutton for punishment and the hard lesson learned is it is best to wait on God.
So, I share with you today to pray. Pray and ask God to remove anxiety from your heart if you know it is there. Pray to be calm. Pray to be content and grateful for what you have. For godliness with contentment is great gain 1 Timothy 6:6 (NASB). Pray to trust God and see from His point and to trust even when you can’t see and don’t understand why things seem to be prolonged. Pray to wait, to wait with patience, and to avoid settling. Pray for His blessings, to be expectant, and to be open to receive from Him. God takes pleasure in this and I pray we always remember that God our Father in heaven wants what He knows is best for us. He loves us and we never have to settle for anything less than God’s best for us.
God Bless You! Thanks for Reading,
Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur