Instant Gratification

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Crown Him With Many Crowns"1 (Lyrics)

Have you ever been to a public protest? If so, you've probably heard some chanting.

Usually the leader is equipped with a bullhorn and yells out, "What do we want?!" Then the people respond with their demand. Then the leader says, "When do we want it?" And the people reply, "Now!"

I think this is slowly becoming the mantra of our society. Whatever we want, we want it…


I recall a story that I heard about Halloween several years ago. A man's doorbell rang, and he went to answer it expecting some kids. But instead, he found a full-grown woman. "It's for my daughter," she said, as if offering an apology and explanation.

Apparently, it was really cold that night. So, the mom — not wanting to deprive her daughter of the unbearable suffering that would surely come with trick-or-treating in the chilly weather — drove the daughter around in her car. The daughter didn't even get dressed up. Instead, the girl just sat there in the car while her mom got a costume on and went door-to-door on her behalf! To top it all off, the daughter fell asleep! When she woke up, she would have a bag full of candy and an exhausted mommy.

I have a theory: The more instantly gratified we are, the less permanently satisfied we are.

Truth is, it's so easy to buy into instant gratification these days. Credit cards give us the impression that we can afford things (which we can't); social media gives us the impression that everyone is having a good time every single day (which they're not); and commercials give us the impression that life is all about satisfying our various appetites (which it's not).

But the more that we cave in to instant gratification, the more that we feed a life of ingratitude.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't indulge ourselves sometimes. In fact, I probably do it a bit more than I should! But when instant gratification becomes a daily habit, we become less thankful, less disciplined, and start to feel entitled to more than our share.

The more instantly gratified we are, the less permanently satisfied we are.

Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (ESV)

Right now, let's be content. Be thankful. Today is already enough!

Prayer: Lord, grant us the gift of contentment. Help us to be truly thankful for what we have. Amen.

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About the author:

Matthew Ruttan <>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank You.

    Amen Matthew!

    Amen! Thanks for writing.

    So true, Matthew. Thanks.

    Yes, Amen. Thank you Mathew.

    A Most Awesome Message! Thank you.

    Thanks for the encouraging word, Matthew.

    Mathew – a powerful devotional. Thank you. So true.

    Great story and timely reminder, Matthew. Thank you!

    Thanks Matthew for sharing your thoughts and insights on gratitude. Blessings.

    Thank you, Matthew!!
    Spot on!!

    As I started to read this devotional I thought this sounds a lot like a Mathew Ruttan message. I did not peek until the very end. I like your style. Thank you.

    Hi Matthew,
    Thanks for your very meaningful morning devotional. So true that we want things not now, but right now and I think it has even become worse now that we have this “click of a button world” we expect instant gratification.
    We need to pray more for patience to wait for the Lord’s leading in our lives.
    Blessings to you,

    Thank you for the clarity of your devotion.
    You are so right about this subject. Depending upon our generation or station in life, many of us had to wait, and work for our needs to be met. There was great anticipation which built appreciation in the waiting.
    We didn’t view our needs or wants as disposable. And, we had to learn to take care of goods because there wasn’t easy money to buy more.

    Just a note to let you know I appreciated your message today. I have witnessed what you say after being in the service of public education for forty years – as a classroom teacher and a school administrator. I often asked the question, “What are we teaching our children?”
    After serving the community as a volunteer in various capacities, I was recognized for my volunteer work. This was a gratification for those who presented the awards. I already received mine in the service performed and to God be the glory.

    Dear Matthew,
    Your devotional brings back not so fond memories of my junior in college – a year replete with demonstrations aimed at shutting the university down to protest this, that and the other thing. It didn’t seem to really matter what the object was so long as the university was shut down! The other constant in these protests was demand number 2 – amnesty for the protestors. Not only do we want instant gratification, but we want painless gratification as well. We want to sit at the right hand of Christ without the cost of picking up the cross.
    Grace and peace.

    Well said, Matthew!

    Good stuff Matthew. I would encourage you to keep writing.

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