In an episode of the Simpsons (the animated sitcom about an American working class family) Homer Simpson, the father, is mixing in equal parts vodka and mayonnaise, preparing it to gulp down. His wife Marge suggests it’s not a good idea because of the consequences, to which Homer replies, “That’s a problem for future Homer!” Then after drinking the concoction says “Man, I don’t envy that guy!”
It’s funny because to us it’s a ridiculous notion that Homer is so ignorant that not for one minute does he think that he will end up becoming future Homer and have to deal with the consequence of his actions.
Who of us would ever act so foolishly to gratify the flesh in the moment, completely ignorant of the future fall out? In reality, many of our daily decisions can have negative future fallout, it’s just that we tend not to verbalise sympathy for that future person who has to pick up the pieces. Whether it’s poor diet, addictions or some area of sin, we choose to satisfy the now at the expense of future self.
On the other hand, successful people all have one thing in common, the ability to delay gratification in exchange for future profit. They do the exact opposite of Homer by forgoing the now to bless the future. It’s actually called sacrifice, and if you read the Bible, it’s the theme throughout, from the story of Cain and Abel to Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice.
Sacrifice means to trade with your future self, to forgo something today to increase the likelihood of some kind of gain in the future. Like a farmer sowing seed or a student working hard to get a favourable exam result. Sacrifice is a step of faith based on the belief in attaining something you can’t yet see.
I encourage you today to analyse every area of your life, from your diet, your use of finances to what you give your time and passions to. Firstly assess where do you gratify cravings without any thought of consequence, what bad habits (no matter how small) do you have that create or are adding to future problems? And secondly, where are you trading with the future, stepping out in faith to create a larger life? What areas could you consciously make braver decisions to be a blessing to future Homer and not a curse? What are you sowing in order to reap? What are you speculating in order to accumulate?
When you start to live a life of sacrifice as opposed to consumption, you’ll be amazed how quickly you start to enjoy the abundance those choices yield!
Proverbs 11:24 The world of the generous gets larger and larger
A daily devotion for a better way of living.