Gratification vs. Fulfillment


  • Action Movies, Action Heroes, Action Figures
  • Extreme Zip Lining, Extreme Expeditions, Extreme Kayaking
  • Fast Cars, Fast Bikes, Fast Women

For most men it’s all about the adrenaline—what type of high will be experienced.

How fast can I go from 0 to 60 mph?

I admit going from 0 to 60 in five seconds in a 1968 convertible Firebird with a 400 4-barrel V-8 with the top down is much more exciting than gradually reaching 60 miles per hour in a Chevy Chevette or Kia Rio.

There are times that the rush is ok but we must evaluate the situation and the cost.  If I decide to accelerate the Firebird on a drag strip or even the on-ramp of an interstate, then the cost and satisfaction will be fulfilling; however, if I were to proceed with my desire while sitting at a red light outside an elementary school at dismissal time, then the cost would be too high and the rush lacking with no real fulfillment.

Kayaking down a white water river would be exciting and could provide hours of enjoyment, but kayaking off an extreme waterfall would provide the rush of your life but would somehow be lacking in the end. (As the title slide for this article suggests)

Consider the difference between fulfillment and gratification.   According to, fulfill means “to develop the full potential,” whereas, gratification means “to satisfy; indulge; humor, as one’s desires or appetites.”

As I consider the two words, gratification insinuates a temporary selfishness to it and fulfillment implies something rewarding and lasting for all. 

Pornography, strip clubs, prostitutes, one-night-stands, etc. all have immediate gratification but is selfish on everyone’s part with an extremely high cost.

Yes I will admit that the adrenaline rush may appear to be much higher when we attempt to satisfy our sexuality in a manner outside of God’s guidelines, but it is never fulfilling—it always lacks.

When we compare God’s plan for our sexuality with a selfish act we will see that God’s plan offers an ultimately higher high and is far outlasting than any self-seeking effort toward immediate gratification.

In the above graphic, I’ve attempted to provide a visual representation of my point in this post.  Because the path of integrity is a gradual climb to lasting fulfillment, if you were to measure any section of the climb it would not have the high intensity of adrenaline as desire to gratification provides; however, immediate gratification is always lacking, ultimately is not as high, and is never fulfilling.

Maybe one of the reasons you have been stumped in your cycle of behavior is because you need to step back and assess your situation and realize the effort and time you give and allow is worth lasting fulfillment and Lasting Fulfillment is a rush one can enjoy with all and with a heart of integrity.