Courage for the Long Term


Short term vs. long term decision making. American culture is conditioned to make decisions based on the short term or immediate results. Our culture does not teach to look at the long term implications of our actions like many other societies. We are even encouraged by the media and advertising to do it now. "Buy now, please yourself, no one waits until their married, etc." This is evidenced in teen sex, obesity, divorce, disobedient children and how people are in excessive debt. Getting in debt, especially, credit card debt, is a system of short term decision making. Even in the corporate world short term decision making is a problem. Publicly traded American companies are judged on quarterly profits, not long term gains. Therefore executives make decisions based upon what will boost short term profits, not long term growth. In the long run, the company is hurt by not spending money to improve or replace equipment and loses market share or profits.

As a person, is your life guided by the short term benefit of decision making? Are you in debt? Are you overweight? Are you compromising your morals? Are there things in your life that you have been putting off because it is uncomfortable to address the issue or relationship? You are making poor short term decisions to avoid doing something uncomfortable now. The long term decision is most beneficial but is uncomfortable to make.

It takes courage to ask yourself "What is the long term consequences of this short term decision?" Most people live their lives never asking such questions. They hope that they will never have to "pay the piper" for short term living. But, in reality, everyone must "pay the piper." If you have goals for your life, these goals enable you to ask yourself "Will this short term decision benefit my long term goals?" Specific goals help you see the long run, not just the immediate 'I want this....whatever" Goals help you have courage to say "no" to how other people live their life so you can live your life achieving your goals, not a credit card company's or some advertiser's goal. Long term goals can keep you out of trouble.


It takes courage in faith to decide to stand for what is right. Deciding to be different takes faith for the long term benefits outweigh the short term "costs." Practicing moral behavior when your friends aren't takes faith. Faith that God's word says you will benefit yourself by not participating in such behavior.

Faith is all about long term decisions from where you place your affections to where you will spend eternity. When asked about eternity: heaven or hell - too many people say I will decide that later. In making that short term decision (don't bother me with that now) they are actually developing a long term decision also. For many, there won't be a choice or opportunity in the long term. For the short term decision becomes a long term habit of not addressing the long term issues. Where will you be in eternity: heaven or hell? It is a long term decision.

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