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Persevering despite the temptations of pleasure or pain – Sunday 18:30

Walter Mischel conducted an experiment with four-year-olds in the 1970s. He left a four-year-old alone in a room with a marshmallow and a bell. If the child rings the bell, Walter returns immediately, and the child eats the marshmallow. If the little one can wait for Walter to come back of his own choice, he or she will get an extra sweet.

In videos from the experiment, you can see the kids wriggle, squirm, swing their legs, close their eyes, and sit on their hands. They are desperate to apply restraint. They usually really want to wait to get two sweets. Their actions differed greatly. Some could not hold out, and rang the bell within a minute. Others could hold out for up to 15 minutes.

The children’s further development was followed by the researcher. Those who could wait longer scored higher points at school. They gained access to better educational institutions, and accomplish more as adults. The children who rang the bell the soonest were prone to a higher percentage of bullying. Ten years later, they were rated poorer by parents and teachers, and by age 32 were more likely to have drug-related problems.

Walter Mischel’s conclusion was that children should learn that it is better to work, prepare and sacrifice for the future, rather than living for immediate satisfaction of needs. The future is more important than one might realize in the heat of the moment.

This is also true of spiritual life as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.

Join us Sunday evening 18:30 for Paul’s take on temptations. And how waiting for God’s promise to provide a way of escape from temptations is the only sure way to persevere in faith.

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