The tyranny of the immediate

Posted on July 24, 2013 · Posted in Sanctification, Shaping Influences

Immediate gratification is one of Satan’s most effective weapons. This desire for the immediate is based on two lies. The first is that having what I want will be satisfying and the second is nothing bad will happen if I get what I want. This is one way sin works in the lives of your children.

If your children believe the lie that getting instant relief from their discomfort or discontent is ultimate, then they are bound by the power of sin. This pattern, if not stopped, will result in a life dominated by the desire for immediate gratification.

When you hear your child whine, you are hearing a child who has been deceived into thinking that life will be better if he gets what he wants right now. If you put up with whining you are helping him to continue in slavery to the deceitfulness of sin.

Immediate gratification is the gateway to a life of slavery. Understanding this will help you teach your children to see how sin deceives them. Sin feeds on the desire for immediate results. That is why a child can go from seeming bliss to outrage in an eye blink. One moment everything is fine. Then he sees his brother with a toy that he wants and he immediately erupts with a howl that sounds like he is being tortured.It is not natural for him to think first that he is happy his brother has a nice toy to play with. It is natural for him to think why should my brother have a toy that I want. Another example is when your daughter says, “Mommy, I want juice.” Your response of, “Just a minute and I will get you some,” is met with a pathetic cry. Your child may die of thirst if you don’t get her the drink right now! This is sin at work

Teaching your children that sin masquerades as instant gratification is an important first step to helping them see how sin lies to them. Any time your children think that they must have something now—they are probably being deceived by sin.

This deception can and does lead to a life of slavery to the immediate.  Pornography, substance abuse, abusive behavior, all have their roots in the quest for immediate gratification. The fruit of the Spirit is best grown in the soil of self-denial.  Help your children to see the excellent path of putting God first.

 

 

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.