THE MARSHMALLOW EFFECT

Journal Entry by Esther Lawson

S –  Luke 6:20-21 (ESV)
20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

O – Observation
Have you heard of the ‘Marshmallow effect?’ It’s a famous study done by a then professor at Stanford University to study delayed gratification. He gave the children in the study a cookie and told them if they could wait to eat it until he came back they would get an extra cookie. However, he gave all of the children something to think about while he was gone. He told some children to think about marshmallows – ‘fluffy white clouds’. This group was the most successful of those he studied. Why? Because the marshmallows were the food that was most different in texture to the cookies than the other things he gave the other groups to ponder.

A – Application
Delayed gratification is not a popular concept in our world. We get what we want instantly – drive thru, constantly updating media, gyms open 24/7. I mean you can pour water on a bag of powder and make ‘mashed potatoes’ (what a joke). We can generally access what we want when we want it. That’s the ‘texture’ of our world and it is beyond easy to lose the God-like ‘texture’ of our lives. The verses above remind me that there is an element of trust to our walk with God. In these verses he asks me to wait. The reward? God. God is our reward. How do we do it? Set your mind on things above, guard your heart and trust that instant is not always best. This is not rocket science. It is a tried and true path. We can all agree real mashed potatoes are worth the effort.

P – Prayer
Thank God that you know what is best for me. I don’t need everything I want. I need what it is you want me to have. Help me to believe it. Help me to be heaven minded – to set my mind on things above. You are my satisfaction, portion, prize and reward. Amen.