Sermon Illustrations

Opening illustration with marshmallows: invite three or four from congregation who really like marshmallows - give each one a marshmallow.

Ask them to hold it, wait until you’ve walked all the way around the auditorium. If they can wait until you’ve walked all the way around the auditorium, they’ll get a second marshmallow.

Or, they can eat that one right away......


We’ve just illustrated an actual experiment that was conducted at Stanford University in the 1970s. They used pre-schoolers in that experiment, and they had to wait 15 minutes to get the second marshmallow. But you get the idea.

The experiment at Stanford was designed to investigate the power of temptation. Preschoolers were left alone with instructions that they could eat one marshmallow right away, or wait 15 minutes and get two marshmallows.

Some went for the immediate payoff; others held back, distracting themselves from the puffy white treat by singing, trying to sleep or covering their eyes.

A decade later, researchers tracked down the children and, according to news reports, found that those who had waited for the second marshmallow...

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