The other day, I was at the grocery, as I was waiting to check out I saw the candy bars. Hmm, a snickers, I haven’t had one for a while, sounds good, and picked one up. AND THEN……I caught myself, put it down, thinking that the calories, sugar and fat which would potentially cause weight gain, cholesterol issues and such wasn’t “worth the squeeze.” I had completed, what in the military we refer to as a risk assessment. Where the soldiers look to see if the goal, say an enemy base, is worth the expenditure of fuel, ammunition, the loss of life to send soldiers to capture it? Will it provide enough benefit in security for the rest of the military if it is captured and American soldiers take over? In my case, I asked myself if the temporary benefit of eating that candy bar was worth the disadvantage of eating it? Was my health more important than my sweet tooth? I had to ask myself, and decided no, so I put it back. Now, I have ALWAYS loved my sweets but as I am not as young as I once was (I don’t like referring to myself as old) I have found that I at times have to deny one craving to have a better life. I didn’t WANT to put it back, but it was better for me in the long run to deny one thing to enjoy a better thing, a healthier life.
Financial advisors and such often talk about a cost/risk/benefit analysis. Is the cost of an item, say stocks, worth the benefit if it increases in value? What about if the company goes bankrupt? Then all the money is lost. Is price you pay for something, a new car, a new phone, clothes, gourmet food, etc worth the risk of having less money for bills and other necessary costs?
As I thought about how such things I began to think that I haven’t always, in fact, I must say, rarely have I, done a cost/risk/benefit assessment before doing something. At one time, I did none at all. I didn’t think about what would please God, for me to do whatever, or not? What would I do if I thought Christ was watching me? Would I be fine with it or would I be ashamed? What about short or long term things? Is doing something that may not be really right, but not terribly wrong (one day I am going to have to ponder little sins vs big sins) going to in the long run, really benefit me or is it going to give some temporary satisfaction at a greater cost? What if I can one thing and lose my soul? Or, if I later repent and regain my soul, but still have compromised my personal values and cost myself to lose respect for myself? There have been times I have not made the right decision, I chose an easier, more pleasing alternative to putting the right effort and being patient to get what God wanted for me to have for my life. What if I had thought things through and prayed on it? Would I have made the same decision? Sometimes yes, often, very often, NO! I would have tried to get a larger perspective. What about physically? If I break a bone in my leg, and have to get a cast and am miserable with the cast because it is hot and itchy, should I remove it weeks before the doctor says it should be removed? I would say no, the temporary pleasure from not wearing it would cause my leg to not heal properly and I would have some sort of disability, maybe just a limp, maybe a severely crippling disability. What about if a couple decides to become sexually active and the female gets pregnant? Now they are faced with an unplanned pregnancy and possibly raising a child. Is the long term cost worth those moments? What if the female decides she doesn’t want to be pregnant and has an abortion? She does and then deals with guilt and other emotions the rest of her life. Was the brief pleasure worth the long term emotional damage? So many ways I could look at this, when the short term temporary benefit costs me so much more in the future. Not waiting for the right thing, eating a candy bar instead of a piece of fruit, buying a new car when my old one still works fine, those and the rest all show a failure to wait, think things through and not seeing what is best for me in the long run. I think it would be a great time for me to look to the scripture to see what He has to say about similar circumstances. While I know what I expect to find, sometimes, I find much more. So, time to crack the good book.
Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Psalms 25:3
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalms 25:5
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. Psalms 25:21
Well, with regards to patience on waiting for blessings from God, seems He is telling us through David, that we should be patient and not try to hurry God’s time table. Must be more to support this thought.
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Romans 8:25
Seems I am being told, to wait on the Lord, be patient, give thought before action. Even if I don’t see what is in store, just wait on the Lord.
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. James 5:7
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:22
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 1 Peter 2:11
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.Luke 9:23
Many more verses speak to waiting or the Lord, waiting to receive great rewards, denying temporary things, waiting with faith for much greater rewards.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. 1 Corinthians 10:13
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?Mark 8:36
Well, pretty much as I thought, and my thought was raised on teaching I have received so some people taught me well. I sometimes MUST deny desires, I MUST wait for Him. Not accept some sort of temporary reward that will be much less, something that may gain me a small amount but cost me far more of what I could have had later, had I just waited a while. And, if I truly seek Christ, the Lord will give me strength to avoid succumbing to the pleasures, He will help me put back the snickers.
I often have issues with patience, not wanting to wait. Tasting something before it has cooled enough, I get a temporary bite when hungry, but burn my tongue and can’t enjoy the main course. No, having something before He wants me to have something better is NOT worth it. I will speak to Him, ask for the help to avoid the temptation until such time He is ready to give me the true, greater reward Jesus has waiting for me.
Lord, I praise your holy name. I thank you for all the blessings you have given me. I thank you for helping me see things in a different light, in YOUR light that I might better live for you and live a better life. I ask that you continue to speak to my heart, to help me make the right decisions, to give me the patience to fully consider what good and possibly what bad will come from my actions. I glorify Christ for His love and sacrifice. I ask you give me the mind, heart and love of Jesus for everyone, including myself.
I ask you to speak to my loved ones and others that you draw them to you, help them make the right decisions and stir in their hearts the need to come to You.
I praise and worship you God for all you are, all you do and for the works you are doing with me.
Once again, I ask that if anyone feels this will help anyone else, please share. Thanks for reading. Thanks for bearing with me as I work to find ways He can make me a better person.