Have you heard of the marshmallow test?
Imagine four and five year olds put in a room alone with one marshmallow. They are told they can eat the marshmallow right away or if they choose to wait they will receive another marshmallow.
Check out this youtube clip.
Walter Mischel, a professor known for his research in self control, conducted a marshmallow study in the early 1960s at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School. Years later, Mischel and his team followed up with the Bing preschoolers and what they found was rather interesting. Their research showed that children who had waited for the second marshmallow generally fared better in life. Their study showed that a child’s ability to delay eating the first treat predicted higher SAT scores, more advanced degrees earned, lower cocaine use, better stress management and a lower body mass index (BMI) over the 30 years following the initial Marshmallow Test.
Self-control and discipline are not popular words these days. It seems that everyone is looking for a shortcut. We want to lose weight, but we don't want to modify our eating, and we certainly don't want to exercise. But in reality, we know that we will have to discipline ourselves to get in shape.
But that is true for anything in life. If we want to be successful at anything, it comes down to discipline. This is especially true regarding our spiritual life. It requires not only turning away from that which would hurt us spiritually but embracing that which would help us.
It’s all pretty daunting, especially if we think we have to do it in our own power. But what if we don’t?
What if we didn’t have to rely solely on our own strength? What if it’s not self-discipline or self-control we require but rather Spirit-discipline and Spirit-control?
If you were with us on Sunday you will have heard what the Apostle Paul has to say on the matter in Romans 7:15-28.
Perhaps the most comforting verse is verse 25: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
This Sunday will be a very special Sunday when we will take the morning to honour our volunteers - the ones that make Amberlea such an amazing place to be! If you have ever served in an Amberlea ministry, it is particularly important that you be there. I have surprises you will not want to miss!
It will be an extraordinary, fun morning of worship. Please join us and, as always, bring a friend!