Lessons from My Philo Class: The Marshmallow Test


For this term, I took a class called “PHILOPE”, which is basically a Philosophy class. From the first few meetings I already had some ideas for blog topics but due to some reasons (i.e. Laziness), I wasn’t able to write any until now.

It’s already the end of the term, but I would still like to share my ideas and insights with you guys. So I’m starting a blog series called “Lessons from My Philo Class” (how original and creative, josh). It’s basically about some lessons I picked up from the class with Christian or Gospel-based insights.

So first part of the series is called the Marshmallow Test. It wasn’t really a lesson; it was just something mentioned in passing. I’m sure any Psychology major will know more about this than I do. But anyway, here it goes:

What is The Marshmallow Test?

From what I understand it was a test conducted by Dr. (insert name here). What he did was he put children in a room at separate times and placed a marshmallow on a table in front of them.

He asked the children to NOT eat the marshmallow until he returns. If they obey, they will receive another marshmallow, which will give them two marshmallows (YEY! I can count.)

Some kids waited, some kids sniffed the marshmallow but had enough self-control to not eat it, while some of the kids ate it despite the promise of a reward.

What we can learn from this

When I heard about this it reminded me about us, and our relationship with God. We are like those kids. God promises us a reward, a reward that will never fade. But before we get that reward, we have to learn how to obey first.

In this life, God commands us to be obedient to His will. He tells us that it’s going to be challenging, but in the end there is a reward. An even greater reward than what the world is offering us.

But we, as humans, tend to take what’s in front of us and tell ourselves “I want a reward now”, “This is what’s best for me”, or even “How can I be sure that God will fulfill His promises?”

We get impatient. We settle. We settle for things that we think are what’s best for us, the things that are in front of us. These can be relationships that aren’t started at the right time or with the wrong the person, fame, fortune, etc.

But my encouragement for all of us is this: That God is a God who keeps His promises. He will never forsake you. He wants the best for you. He has already given you his best—Jesus, what else will he withhold from you? I challenge all of us to put our trust in Him. Have faith that He will fulfill His promises. Let’s not settle, but let us wait for an even greater and eternal prize from Him.

25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11

And you know what? When you trust in Him, you’ll realize that the greatest reward that we can ever get is Jesus himself.

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” – Philippians 3:8

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11


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