I don’t know about you, but my emotions can get the best of me! I often let sadness or anger or even happiness send me to choices that don’t really line up with my goals. Or…I wallow in the mud of trials that come my way.
There are lots of sayings and writing about sacrificing in the short term for gaining in the long term. This applies to so many aspects of life. You’ll see this line of thinking as it applies to diet and fitness. You’ll see it as it applies to finances. You’ll see it as it applies to goal setting for just about anything. Typically it’s telling you to endure the hardships of the moment in order to get to the goal.
This has been on my mind lately. Mainly because I’m not very good at it yet. I often reach for a snack that will not help me regain my health. I choose to sit and watch television instead of moving. The allure of shopping sometimes gets the best of me and derails our quest to be debt-free. Taking a verbal jab at Doug when we disagree feels good in the moment and awful afterward and does not build peace in our marriage. Those don’t really seem like trials or hardships…they are enticing. The sacrifice or trial is in giving up those things to get to the goal.
So how do we exchange short term pleasure for long term peace or sacrifice in the short term to reap the benefits in the long term? I think we do it one moment…one choice…at a time. Each time we sacrifice that in-the-moment choice in order to have lasting results we move toward that long term peace.
” Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”James 1:2-3
I was reminded during a Bible study this week that God through James doesn’t tell us to FEEL joy during the trials. He says to consider it. Think about it. Ponder it. Through that thinking, we can realize that the trials in the moment produce endurance…the ability to keep on keeping on.
- Keep on studying!
- Keep on praying!
- Keep on eating for health!
- Keep on moving our bodies!
- Keep on passing peace instead of turmoil!
- Keep on following your budget!
- Keep on _______________!
Today, I pray we all can pass up the short-term pleasures in exchange for long-term peace, that we can “consider it joy” when we face the trials of various kinds we’ll face today, and that the testing of our faith produces endurance.