Have you ever met someone who just seems to believe the world owes him something? Do you have friends who refuse to work hard to achieve just about any goal they might be interested in pursuing? One last question: Have you, yourself, ever tried to jump from desiring something to the reward phase without expecting sacrifice to be part of the equation? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are quite aware that one of the biggest problems society faces today is our inability to see sacrifice as a necessity when trying to achieve anything worthwhile. We want the fast track to fame, fortune, and happiness.
I have friends who want to be successful rap artists yet don’t take the time to send out demos to radio contests in nearby big cities. I know people who want to become mixed martial arts competitors but want to skip the years of hard training that would actually get them ready for serious competition. And over the past 20 years, I’ve worked alongside many coworkers who wanted promotions years before they had proven themselves worthy of such advancement. I have actually been guilty of that last one on a few occasions.
Desire is not a bad thing. We can desire to be a better person, lose weight or write a novel. Desire gives us that spark that causes our minds to wonder what it would be like to accomplish something new. A teenager who watches the Olympics and sees a competitor performing a long jump might desire to try long jumping for his high school track team. The student will of course have to show up for practice, let the coach know what event he is interested in learning, and work hard to make the team and become a successful long jumper. He is not going to just show up at the first track meet of the season and line up at the event he desires to compete in. That’s just not how things work. Yet, with some people, this is exactly how they see the path from “desire” to “reward”. They want to eliminate sacrifice from the equation.
The amount of credit card debt in the world is a good example (the average credit card debt per household in America is $8,400)  of people seeking immediate rewards. We want what we can’t afford, and we want it right now. People with financial discipline realize that their reward is much more fulfilling when it is achieved without incurring high interest debt. If we work to pay for what we want, we will enjoy the end result without an extra price to reimburse. This is true concerning physical, mental, and spiritual endeavors. We cannot become healthier without watching our diet and exercising. We cannot increase our knowledge without gathering information. And, of course, we cannot become more personally familiar with God without seeking His face and character in the books of the Bible.
The next time you find desire at your doorstep, remember that he is bringing two friends along with him, not one. Sacrifice is not near as painful as the price we pay when we rush to things we aren’t ready to own.
 Consumer Credit Counseling Service. Credit Counseling Statistics Site. [cited 25 November 2007]. Available at: http://creditcounselingbiz.com/credit_counseling_statistics.htm
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