The Marshmallow Test Studies Self-Control and Has Biblical Application

self-control, fruit of the Spirit, the marshmallow test, Ephesians 3:20-21
image: Billy Frank Alexander
Forty years ago, the "Marshmallow Test" studied children's self-control. 

A marshmallow was placed in front of a preschooler. He was told he could eat it if he wanted, but if he waited for the adult to return (approximately 15 minutes), he'd get two marshmallows instead of one. Then he was left alone with the marshmallow.

One third of the children were self-controlled enough to get the second marshmallow.

"Follow-up studies on these preschoolers found that those who were able to wait the 15 minutes were significantly less likely to have problems with behavior, drug addiction or obesity by the time they were in high school, compared with kids who gobbled the snack in less than a minute." (Time)

Many psychologists who once pushed self-esteem are now admitting that self-control is more essential than self-esteem for our well-being.

Scripture says it's a fruit of the Spirit.

And this is the good news: even those who flunked the marshmallow test as children can develop self-control with the power of God's Spirit (Ephesians 3:20).

Do you know a famous Bible character who flunked the "marshmallow test."  Find out HERE.

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