Have you ever heard of the Stanford “marshmallow test”? A Stanford professor once offered kids a choice—They could eat a marshmallow now, or if they could wait, the kids would get two marshmallows later. Want to guess what happened? Most of the kids tried to wait. They covered their eyes. They tugged on their pigtails. One kid even petted the marshmallow like it was a stuffed animal! In the end, only one out of every three kids had the self-control to wait for the reward.
Life is just a bigger version of that experiment, isn’t it? Satan offers us something sweet (like giving someone a piece of our mind or driving to the mall again despite 0 percent of our budget helping the poor), and we have to decide whether to wait for God’s greater blessing or give in to the marshmallow of temptation.
This is where I’m amazed at Jesus. Starving in the desert, the deceiver used one of his oldest tricks, a promise of right-here, right-now pleasure. But Jesus replied, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (Matthew 4:10). Jesus’ willingness to wait was not just a good example for you to follow. It is your hope. Your salvation. Your perfection, to be later given to you at the cross.
I hope you are excited enough about future blessings to wait when you face today’s temptation. But, no matter what you do, I know what Jesus did. He waited for the blessing of God. And that’s good news for us all.