Never Trade Future Blessings for Temporary Pleasures

I want to discuss bad trade deals. Sometimes in life, we make some pretty bad trade deals. When I was in grade school, I traded a tuna sandwich my mom had made for me for a classmate’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I don’t know about you, but that was a really bad choice on his part. Once, I traded some baseball cards for candy. If I still had them today, they’d be worth a lot of money. Another time, I traded a motorcycle for cash and jewelry. I would consider that a bad trade. I should have stuck with only cash instead of some hand-me-down jewelry (although, it was 14K gold).

Think about it, sometimes in life, we make bad trade deals. We may trade our faith in future promises for the fear of today. Sometimes we trade our integrity for an immediate temptation or pleasure that presents itself.  “You should never trade future blessings for temporary pleasures.” This quote is a powerful thought. Sometimes, when we do this, we are cheating ourselves. For example, we trade the long-term blessing that God has for our future for the fleeting pleasure of an immediate gratification. We trade the future blessing of good health for the temporary pleasure of junk food. Admit it, we all like junk food! We trade good health for the temporary pleasure of alcohol, nicotine, excessive caffeine, etc. We should never trade future blessings for temporary pleasure.

Sometimes we trade the future blessing of financial security over the temporary pleasure of immediate gratification. Doing this can cause us to go into debt over our heads to buy the house, buy the car or educational choices that aren’t necessarily in the best interest of our future.

Sometimes we choose the immediate instead of the eternal over our life. For example, we choose the pleasure of late night TV instead of the future blessing of a good night’s rest and getting up to meet the future challenges of the day.  Sometimes we choose frivolous pursuits over goal oriented action in our lives. Read that book, take that class, attend that seminar, pursue that friendship and invest in yourself.

I think of the story in the Bible of Joseph, in Genesis, when he refused the temporary pleasure that Potiphar’s wife was offering him for the future blessing that he knew God had for his life.  I also think of how Job’s reflection of that invitation allowed there to be an immediate rejection. He didn’t look to the immediate gratification; he was able to postpone that gratification for future blessings that God had for him.

I am wondering if any of us have a Potiphar’s wife in our life – something that offers a temporary pleasure that, if we aren’t careful, could hold us back from a future long-term blessing.

Another example is Moses. He chose to suffer the affliction of God rather than enjoy passionate sin for a season. He was offered a shortcut of ruling over Egypt instead of going through the wilderness and its trials and tribulations, but he chose the future blessing of God over temporal pleasures.

In life, there are no shortcuts to God’s best. It may take a little longer to get there but it will last a whole lot longer. A classic example of this idea is Esau. He chose the temporal pleasure of a bowl of soup over the future blessing of God’s inheritance in his life. What a bad trade! What a bad deal he made!

I’m tired of making bad deals. I’m tired of choosing the temporal pleasures of this world over the future blessings God has for me. All of us can wise up and become better trade negotiators. Let’s not sell out the future blessing God has for us over the immediate temporal pleasures that may be offered to us.

I think the final example for all of us is Christ, our Lord and Savior. When he was in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, the enemy wanted him to choose temporal relief over the long-term blessing that the Father had for him. Jesus always made the right choice. He can help us to make the right choices, too.

Never accept a temporal pleasure today and rob yourself of a future blessing that God has for you in your future. If you have, ok. Today is a new day and a fresh start, so do it right and wise up!

Have a great day. God bless!

Carl

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