Do you like marshmallows? I don’t particularly care for them unless they have been toasted in a fire and smashed in a s’more, but most kids can’t get enough of them. I think it is the sugar content.
I recently saw a video where they took children ranging in age of 3 to about 8 and put them in a room one at a time. An instructor placed a marshmallow on a plate in front of the child and told him he could eat it now or wait until the instructor returned and he would get two marshmallows if they waited. I was rolling in the floor with laughter. One little boy bent down and smelled it and then he lifted it and looked at all sides. Another little boy began to pick at it on one end and then he flipped the marshmallow over so it wasn’t easy to see he had tampered with it. One little boy crammed it in his mouth before the instructor even finished explaining the procedure. A little girl looked at it and then pushed the plate as far away from her as she could get it without knocking it off the table. A second little girl licked it, which led to her eating it. There was one little boy who declared to the instructor “I’ll wait” and he did manage to wait and he received two marshmallows.
Out of 12-15 children participating in this experiment, all but 3 ate the marshmallow even when they had the assurance that something better was available for them if they waited. Some ate it quickly and some nibbled or picked a little at a time before caving in and eating the whole thing.
While this was a funny little video to watch, it is also a picture of what happens to us when temptation comes into our lives. Many of us will be like Eve and try to rationalize it with the help of the enemy [Genesis 3:1-7].
1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” God knows we will all be tempted and He knows how to get us out of it if we are willing to seek Him in the midst of it.
Proverbs 27:12 says “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Prudent means marked by wisdom. So those of us who are wise see danger and take refuge in the Lord.
There is no top secret way to handle temptation. God puts it out there for us all to see. In James 4:7 He tells us all how to handle any temptation that comes our way. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” If you are living a life for the Lord, then you live by His standards. Your decision is made before temptation ever comes knocking on your door. You are like the little boy who declared “I’ll wait” before the instructor ever left the room. He made his choice early on and he stuck to it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know it was hard to wait out his time limit, but not as difficult as it was for those who didn’t decide until they were in the midst of temptation.
What temptations are you facing today? It may be something as simple as eating a food that isn’t healthy for you or it may be something far more serious. No matter what temptations come your way, the Lord has made a way if you will submit to Him. Are you going to eat the marshmallow or will you wait for something better?