Andy Stanley - Your Future Self
So here's where I'd like to get started today. Do you know anyone, have you worked for anyone or perhaps with anyone, and maybe you didn't think of it in these terms, but basically they were ruled by an appetite? In fact, they were so ruled by an appetite, you felt like you could almost predict their future, you felt like you could perhaps even predict their kids' future. And as an outsider, watching them operate or navigate the, just the normal complexities of life, you know, carrying around this, basically being controlled by this appetite, from your perspective, from my perspective, it was so irrational, but it was their reality. It it was like a quest to quench an unquenchable thirst was their priority.
It seemed to take priority over everything and it wasn't that they thought it should, but as you watch them navigate life and parenting and try to keep a job or get through school, it was like there was just this unquenchable thirst, and quenching that unquenchable thirst just kind of took priority. And if you knew their story, or if you took time to hear their story, this appetite that controlled them it may have made sense, or it kind of made sense. It'd be like, oh yeah, well, if I was raised like that, or if that had happened to me, I get it. But it was still extraordinarily destructive. Perhaps you've seen that close up or perhaps you've seen that from afar, but what it reminds us of is that appetites are extremely, extremely powerful.
In fact, our appetites had the potential to determine the direction and certainly the quality of our life. They have the potential to determine the direction and quality of the lives of the people closest to us. The people that we love the most, the people that love us the most. And we rule them or they rule us. You rule them or they will rule you. And what's so interesting about this, especially if you're a religious person or a Christian, they will rule you in spite of what you believe, because, and no one will write this down, we can believe right and do wrong. Did you know that? Yeah, we can believe right and do wrong. Which means to some extent, our appetites eventually make us all hypocrites 'cause here's what I believe, and here's what I teach, and here's what I taught and here's what I wanted my kids to do. But yeah, this is what I do.
And most of the time that thing that puts us out of sync with what I believe and what I do, what I think I ought to do, what I actually do is an appetite. And so for all these reasons and more, our appetites pose a threat to our integrity. To be more direct, your appetites, your appetites pose a threat to your integrity. So today we're in part three of our series, your integrity, our world, your integrity, our world. And we basically loosely defined integrity, and I'm gonna give you a specific definition in just a minute, loosely defined integrity is the resolve or the courage to do the right and virtuous and noble thing just because it's the right virtuous and noble thing to do, even when it costs us, even when there's a price tag attached. So we're just gonna do the right thing because it's the right thing, regardless of the consequences.
As we've said all along, integrity is something we celebrate and others. In fact, we actually expect it in others. The fact that we expect it and others points to this big ought to that kind of hangs out over all of us. An ought to that we didn't create, an ought to we can't seem to shake, an ought to that we hold other people accountable to this is what they ought to do, this is what you ought to do, this is what I expected you to do, because this is what you ought to do. But then when it comes to our personal lives, sometimes we don't always do what we ought to do. And integrity or a lack of integrity, it is personal. It's my personal integrity. But as we've said throughout this series, it may be personal, but it is not private because the load or the consequence of a lack of integrity, the load of a consequence of a breach in integrity is transferred to the people around us. It may be your personal decision, but it's gonna impact some other persons. It may be your personal decision but it impacts the people or the persons around you and the people around me. It's personal, but it's never, ever private.
Thus our title. Your integrity, our world. My integrity, our world. My integrity, my family. Your integrity, your family, your world. And here's the anchor verse, we talked about this last time. And before I read it, I know this is a little bit odd. And if you weren't here last time, this may not make any sense, but I would love for everyone, even if you're watching at home, to sit up as straight as you can in your chair, then you can get back to that poor posture your mom told you not to have for the rest of your life, but I want us to sit up straight because the point of this verse, this is kind of the physical posture that the verse alludes to and reminds us that this is how people of integrity live. Here's what it said, the integrity of the upright, the integrity of the upright. There's a connection between integrity and the posture of our lives. Because people who are standing upright and sitting upright, they're taking the long look, not the short view. The integrity of the upright will guide them, which is who said last time, it means that people have integrity, the reason they maintain their integrity is because it is a decision-making filter for them. They've decided, you know what? I'm gonna do what I ought to do, regardless of what it costs me.
This is how I make decisions. What's the right thing to do? What's the virtuous thing to do? What's the noble thing to do? If you're a Christian, what is it that God wants to me to do? I'm gonna do what I ought to do regardless of the consequences. And people of integrity take the long look. But the crookedness or the badness, as we talked about last time, of the treacherous will eventually catch up with them, will eventually destroy them. The people who maintain their equity are guided by it. It is their primary decision-making filter. So in an effort to make this memorable and a little bit more portable, and for those of you who are sharing some of this content with your kids at home, which I hope you are, I wanna give you my personal definition for integrity, because it's short and it's memorable and it's portable.
And here's what it is, and it's maybe even simplistic, but I like it. That integrity is just doing what you ought to do even if it costs you. That's it. It's doing what you ought to do even if it costs. Just look, you know what to do, just do what you ought to do. You know, the right thing to do, just do what you ought to do. I know on the back end of it, there's gonna be a price to pay. Just do what you ought to do, even if it costs you, which of course brings us around to this question. Why don't we just do what we ought to do even if it cost us? Because we respect people who do that. The heroes in the stories and novels and historical fiction, I mean, those are the heroes are the ones that just do what they ought to do even when there's a price to pay. We expect everybody else to do with they ought to do.
So why don't we just, let's just, I'll tell you what, I'm just gonna say it one more time, we'll close up here. Let's just do what we ought to do regardless of what it costs us, right. Why is this so hard? Well, it's difficult in part, 'cause of our appetites. Our appetites, our appetites actually pose a constant, every day before this is out, our appetites pose a constant threat to our integrity. Just about every day, just about every day, we have to say no to one to protect or satisfy the other. In other words, we have to say no to an appetite sometimes to protect our integrity, or we say no to our integrity in order to satisfy an appetite. This is a constant tension. We live with it every single day at multiple levels.
Now, when you think about the term appetite, generally, one or two things come to mind, the first one is food and the second one is? You wouldn't say it, sex. That's right, food and sex. But we have many, many, many appetites. Here's just a general list to kinda get us into the discussion, that we have an appetite for acceptance, intimacy, inclusion, respect, recognition, fame, progress, it's a big deal to me, to be envied. Some of you, you never admit it, but you know what your appetite is you just wanna be envied. You wanna live an enviable lifestyle. You know, how do I get there, how do I get there quick? Stuff, more stuff, and new stuff, right. We all have an appetite for stuff, more stuff, new stuff, responsibility, achievement winning, right. And most of these appetites, and there are more, these are all reasonable, these are all acceptable. Every single one of these, at some level, poses a threat to our integrity.
Now, before we talk more about that, I wanna make three quick comments about appetites in general. And this is gonna help us understand in a broader context of where we're going in the next few minutes. Real quick, theist or people who believe in God, we believe that when it comes to appetites that God created 'em and sin distorted 'em. That's what theists believe. Everybody believes number two, everybody believes number two, that appetites are never fully and finally satisfied, right? In fact, appetites just have a one word vocabulary. Does anybody know what the one word vocabulary of an appetite is? More, that's right, thank you. It's more, which obviously fuels our discontentment and we see people who live better, drive better, marry better, better educated, have better opportunities, and we think to ourselves, well, gosh, if I had that or if I accomplished that, or if I accumulated that, or if I had gone to that school, or if I dated that, or if I, you know, I would be content.
But of course, we all know there are people in different parts of the world that would look at any one of our lifestyles, and go, wow, if I drove that, lived there, had that opportunity, could live in that city, had those opportunities, would been able to have gone to that school, gotten that degree. There are people that look at any of our lives and would think, wow, if I could just be them, I'd be content. In fact, if they could just be you 10 years ago, 20 years ago, because it's a never, it's just a rat race. We know that, that our appetites really are what bait the comparison trap. And we know there's no win in comparison. It's just just a rabbit hole that you go down and there there's just no bottom to it. And the last thing, the third thing about appetites is this, appetites always whisper now. They never whisper later, right. An appetite never says, let's just wait 'til tomorrow. That's not your appetite talking, right, that's something else.
The appetites are not a fan of delay gratification. They're not a fan of delayed gratification. They tempt us to opt for immediate over ultimate. They attempt us to opt for now over later. Again, our appetite, this isn't a Christian thing or religious thing, this is just a human being thing, right. Our appetites pose a constant threat to our integrity. Just one quick illustration. Do do you, and many of us do have an appetite for achievement and advancement? I mean, I know I do. I wanna achieve things, I wanna advance, I love progress, right. But your integrity, our integrity, my integrity, your integrity could become an obstacle. Maintaining your integrity could become an obstacle to achieving things as fast as you wanna achieve them. Your integrity could become an obstacle to advancing as quickly as you want to advance, doing the right thing may actually slow things down because as many of us have learned the hard way.
Oftentimes the most direct route, the most direct route, isn't always the most ethical route. The quickest route to what we want, to what our appetites, to gets stirred up within us, that the quickest route, oftentimes isn't the route that allows us to maintain our integrity. And when you face that tension and experienced, that tension which we all do sometimes every single day at some level, in that moment, we have a decision to make. Will my integrity guide me? Or will my appetite guide me?
Now, come on. The reason that you lie sometimes, and I know you do, sometimes you don't tell the whole truth and you cover, and you kind of tell half the story and you don't, you know, sometimes. The reason that you fudge, you know, the reason that you do that, it's not because you think those things are good or honorable or noble, the reason that we tell half trues or don't disclose everything is because, well, it's a means to an end. It's a way to satisfy an appetite. To tell the whole truth means I don't get what I want to. To fully disclose what's going on means that this is gonna take a lot longer or it may never happen at all. I mean, if I told you my whole story, you may not call me again. If you knew everything, if I hadn't sort of carved off some of the rough edges, then I don't know that we even have relationship. So from time to time, maintaining our integrity is gonna mean we have to say no to an appetite.
Now there's a familiar, pretty familiar Old Testament story that I wanna walk you through today because I think better than any other story I've known, Old Testament, New Testament, any Testament. I mean, I just think this is the most fabulous story. Not only illustrates this tension, but more important than illustrating the tension, it gives us a world picture. And when years and years ago I connected the dots between this tension that we all live with in this story, it just gives me a world picture that my mind just goes to immediately. And I hope as a result of our few minutes today, it'll be a world picture that sits front and center in your life, maybe for the rest of your life. And maybe it's the word picture that keeps you from making a decision based on now that you pay for later. Happens about 1800 BC, it's a story of two brothers, an older brother and a younger brother. The older brother was a hunter and a warrior and a doer. The younger brother was a thinker and a schemer and a really good cook. Does anyone know who I'm talking about? Anyone? Yes, Esau and Jacob.
Now, when you hear this, you generally hear it, if you grew up in churches, Jacob and Esau. But normally you say the older before the younger, but because of this story forever and ever they would be known as Jacob and Esau rather than Esau and Jacob. These two guys were Abraham's grandsons. And the oldest, the older brother, Esau, would automatically inherit something that's very strange to us, that they referred to as a birthright. In other words, he had certain rights that came to him because of his birth order. There is no modern equivalent to this in our modern society and we would push back on it if there were, because here's how it works. If you are the first born son, you had special privileges, not because you were talented, not because you were disciplined, just because you were born first. For example, you got a double inheritance, which if there's only two kids, that's one thing. But back then everybody had about eight or nine wives and a hundred children.
So if you got a double inheritance, that was a really big deal. Maybe the best thing of all, if you were the first born son, you got what was referred to as judicial authority, which meant if there was a dispute among family members, you got to decide. Now, that might be worth bringing back. Just, just saying, okay. Now, if there was a family squabble, and back then, I mean, when there was a family squabble, basically blood was shed. It was like a really big deal. But if you were the first born son, you could sit down with the extended family and say, I've heard all the evidence. Here's what we're gonna do. And your word was law. That was a big deal. And also you got a father's special blessing, which in that culture was the equivalent of God's blessing. So that's kind of the context for what happened. So here's the story. The boys, the two boys grew up and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents.
Now, if your mind goes in a direction, the next verse confirms what you were thinking. Their father, Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah, their mother, loved Jacob. This was part of the problem. The story continues. Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, because he hung around at the tent and cook, he was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country and he was famished. Literally, this little Hebrew word means he was weary, he was faint, we would say he was hangry, hangry. Ever been hangry? Like you don't know if you're more angry or hungry. Okay, so he comes in and he's completely famished. His appetite is engaged. I mean, this is pretty the setup, his appetite is engaged, his defenses are down, and his senses are heightened by the smell of this stew. I mean, Esau is basically, at this point is sitting duck. And he said to Jacob, his younger brother, "Quick, quick, quick". That is an appetite talking in him. Quick, I gotta have it now. Quick, quick, quick, right now. Quick, quick. Whenever you're in quick mode, mh, cut the brakes. Quick, he says, "Let me have some of that red stew. I'm famished"!
Now this situation, this dynamic rarely happens in the real world. And by dynamic, I mean this, rarely does it happen that the younger, weaker brother has leverage over the older, stronger brother. If you are a younger brother, you are a those days it almost never ever happened. But when every once in a while the younger, weaker brother has leverage over the older, stronger brother, shrewd, thoughtful, younger brothers just bask in the opportunity. Oh my goodness. He needs something from me. He needs me. This is such a big deal. And so shrewd, younger brothers, you know what they do? They look for a way to leverage this very rare opportunity that rarely comes along, right? I mean, you know, in our world, it sounds like this, so you don't want mom to know what time you came in last night? You don't want her to know, you don't. So what's that worth? What's it worth to you? That you're mom never finds out what time you came in, right? And then the shrewd, younger brother, if they're shrewd, they do this, they start at the top.
What the most I could possibly get out of this? And then you kinda work your way down and you find something, you know, to trade. And our family, it went like this. Garrett is our shrewd younger brother and Andrew is our, the older brother in our family, but 20 months apart. And when Garrett rarely had the power, had the leverage over Andrew, he would totally play this game. And it always started here. So can I drive your car? Always started there, "Can I drive your car"? And Andrew's like, "You're 14. No, you can't drive my car". But then you're gonna work your way down till you finally find something that you can trade. So Jacob is a thinker, he's shrewd. And he sees this opportunity and he seizes on this opportunity. And Jacob is like, you know, go big or go home. So Jacob replied, "First, first sell me your birthright". Yeah, exactly. That's exactly how, that is the correct response. Oh yeah, I'm sure. Right, yeah, what else you got?
So, wait, wait, you want me to trade my birthright for a bowl of stew? I mean the birthright's his whole future, who, who in their right mind would trade their future for a bowl of stew? Not even for a lifetime, you know, of stew, a lifetime supply of stew wouldn't trade your future, your birthright. Who in their right mind would trade future for a bowl of stew? Who would trade their integrity for a bowl of stew? Who would trade their self-respect for a bowl of stew? Who would trade their relationship with their kids or their future kids for a bowl of stew? Who would trade a valuable, valuable relationship that you hope to go the distance with for a bowl of stew? Who'd trade their reputation, their profession, their opportunity, the future for a bowl of stew? The answer is nobody. The answer is potentially everybody.
Now, when you hear it within the context of this story, you just laugh. Like I'm so sure I'm gonna trade the birthright for a bowl of stew? But when it's you and it's right there in front of you, it's amazing the bad trades we're willing to make. It's amazing some of the bad trades some of us have made, right? We've seen it. We've done it. The story is so helpful because it almost gets into the psychology behind how this works and how it works in us. Listen to what happens next. "Look," Esau says, "Look, I'm about to die". Okay, hey, walked in the hall, he just walked into camp, he just walked into the tent. You're not about to, I'm about to die. What's he doing? He's doing what we all do. He's building this case, this is a big deal. This isn't just a bowl of stew. This is life or death. Jacob's like, "Really? So what are you willing to trade"? Right, building his case, creating a narrative.
You know, he's doing what what we do. He's justifying. Justifying his just a lie, he's just lying to himself. And listen what he says next, this is so reflected in things we think and say, "What good, what good is the birthright to me"? Well, it's not that big a deal. And you know, I've heard about it, but what good is the birthright to me? And I'm gonna add two words to the text because this helps us focus on what's really going on, "What good is the birthright to me right now"? The answer is Jacob's like, "It's not worth anything to you right now. Is not worth anything to you till our father dies". That's later, that's later. The integrity of the upright, the integrity Of the people who take the long view, the integrity of the upright will guide them later as longer, the upright see right. Those that are bent and focused on now, they just don't see well. The upright are focused on later, and they remember later as longer, later is longer, later is longer. Esau is looking at right now.
Let me tell you something about now, okay. Now is now and now now is gone. We go over that again, 'cause this might be the deepest part of the sermon, okay. Now is now and now that now it's gone. Jacob knows that Esau has the power. So he's carefully saying, okay, first, first, first you got to swear to me, swear to me first. So Esau swears an oath, oath was a big deal in those days. He swore an oath and he sold or traded his birthright to Jacob. And you're standing on the outside of this going, this is insane. I bet once upon a time and probably all of our lives, a mom, a dad, a grandparent, a best friend stood over us while we made a decision and thought to themselves, or maybe even said this, are you kidding? Wait, wait, wait, have you thought this through? Oh yeah, I don't care. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread, not just stew, he was like, okay, we'll pile it on. It's a big deal, big deal. Some bread and some little stew. And Esau ate and drank, he got up and left. And the stew was gone, and so was his birthright.
So was his future, he traded his future for a bowl of stew. Who would do that. Who? What would cause someone to do that? An appetite. Appetite is so engaged and so inflamed and so enraged, it's all we can see. And here's how the narrative ends. Again, it's so instructed to all of us. Here's how it ends. So Esau despised his birthright. This is so important, okay. Here is what this means, Esau decided it's not that big of a deal. Esau decided I don't care. If you'd walked up to Esau after he set the bows back down, he's walking off. He's like, ah, it's not a big deal, I don't care. This is exactly what we do. We decide we don't care when it's too late to care. We decide it really wasn't all that valuable after the fact when we've discounted the value through what we've done and now there's nothing we can do.
And so we decided just to defend ourselves and to justify what we've done, we decide it wasn't that big a deal. I know my mom told me, I know my dad told me, I know my employer told me, I know what I've always heard. I went to church, I mean, heard that, but you know, it's just not that big of a deal. And so we create a narrative. The narrative is that it wasn't that big a deal, it wasn't that great of a loss. And then we believe our own narrative. I mean, what else could I have done? I was dying. Well, what else could I have done? I would've lost my job. What else could I have done? She would have never gone out with me again. What else could I have done? If I had told him my whole story, that would be the end of the relationship. Are you kidding? What else could I have done? He would have moved out and that would have been the end. What else could I have done? What else could I have done? I didn't have any choice.
And then we believe the story that we manufactured to justify what we've done because we've decided it's not that big of a deal, I don't really care, I didn't really have any choice. And then we hang on to our excuses and we hang onto our justification. And then very few people ever face up to any of that stuff. And this is the hard part, and then we're never truly ourselves, that we kinda live with a limp. And the healthy people around us know something's up. And every once in a while, somebody tries to bring it up and you shut them down. And if they ever got to kinda the root or the incident or the event, it's like, that wasn't a big deal, I don't care, it doesn't matter. And you life with an unnecessary limp. And we're never ever truly ourselves because of this, you can't be yourself as long as you are lying to yourself. Maybe worse, no one can know yourself.
As long as your filter, as long as you're lying to yourself. And maybe worst of all, long-term, you can't give your entire self to anyone as long as you're lying to yourself. And if you know how this story plays out, Jacob's, you know, bargaining powers, and the seat, an Esau's short-sightedness set in motion a series of events that would rip this family apart for decades. It wasn't just about the two brothers anymore. It was about every one related to them for a couple of generations. So for this days out, probably, your appetite, my appetite, our appetites, they will compete with our integrity. We will be forced to say no to one, either to satisfy the other or maintain the other.
As concerning our appetites, compete for our future. We either rule them or they rule us. We rule them or they ruin us. And at some level we will all be tempted to trade our future for what amounts to a bowl of stew. And the moment it doesn't look like a bowl of stew, but a year later, three years later, five years later, you look back, and you're like, you know what? It's gone. What I got in the trade is gone. The relationship I thought was worth sacrificing my integrity for, they're not even in my life anymore. When I spend a lot of time teaching high school students, I used to go to camp every summer for way too long, stayed in the worst hotels imaginable. Sandra came one time, she said, "No, this is something you'll do on your own". It was the hotels were just, they just were so gross. I mean, they just were, but that's okay. You know, I didn't know any better.
So, and I would, I just, I loved teaching high school students and I love to talk to them about their friends and friendships 'cause your friends determine the direction and quality of your life as well. And here's what I would tell them, and here's what I told my kids once they hit some middle school and high school, and they're, even though we're all, most of us are older than that, that the implications of this simple principle are true for all of us. And it applies in so many areas. Here's what I would say. I would say, let me tell you about your friends, your unhealthy friendships will last about two to two and a half years, that's it. That's all they can survive, because unhealthy people, and don't kid yourself just 'cause you think you have unhealthy friends, you are their unhealthy friends.
So let's not think, oh, I'm the good person, they're the bad person. No, if you're in a relationship with an unhealthy person, you are on a healthy person. And so it happens it's like parasites trying to feed off of each other. Eventually it just all goes away. This is why unhealthy relationships have a short shelf life. They just, you know, two to two and a half years. Those people aren't even in your life anymore, I would say, and it's absolutely true.
Now, healthy relationships, goodness, those are the people you stay in touch with for 20 years, 30 years. Even after they move to different cities, it's like you just still feel like you have a connection. Unhealthy relationships, whether it's dating, whether you're living together whether it's just a friendship you developed around sports or common interests, unhealthy relationships, they just have a shelf life. But the problem is, I would say the students, and the problem is, I would say to all of us, however this lands with you and lands with me, is this, that when the relationship is over, when the relationship is over, what you're left with is almost worthless. It's valueless.
In fact, in some cases is less than valuable. It's embarrassing, it's shameful. It's a record, it's a felony. It's a thing you hope nobody ever asked you about, that's what you're left with. And what you give up, and this is a hard to say, but what you give up when you trade your future for the bowl of stew, what you give up is irretrievable. It's not unforgivable, but it's irretrievable. 'cause can't go back undisappoint someone. You can't go back and unhurt someone. You can't go back and, you know, say here's that two and a half years of your life that I wasted 'cause I lied to you and strung you along. I wanna give you those two and a half years back. You can't do that. You can't go back and relive. So what you give up and these poor trades, because you were looking down instead of up, to some extent, it's irretrievable. Not unforgivable, but irretrievable.
So here's where I wanna land today. What is your bowl of stew? Not in the past, right now. What is competing right now with your integrity? What's competing for your preferred future. You know what I mean by a preferred future? Preferred future is if I were to say to you, hey, what do you see, where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years? Where do you see yourself relationally, financially, spiritually? Where do you, tell me about how you want the future to look like? What's competing for that picture? You may have written it down. You may be a goals person, or you may have a general idea of where you're going, what do you want it to look like? What's competing right now for your future? Let me ask it a different way. What or who is difficult to say no to that you know you ought to say no to? What are you talking yourself into that the people who love you the most would try to talk you out of if they knew you were trying to talk yourself into it? Or maybe it's more overt than that.
Maybe they know what you're talking yourself into and they are currently to talk you out of it. And here's the whisper of the appetite. It's not that big a deal, it doesn't matter. It's not that big a deal, it doesn't matter. It's not that big a deal, it doesn't matter. What you're doing that's not exactly illegal, not exactly immoral, but you don't want anybody to know about it. What are you doing that's not exactly illegal, it's immoral-ish, you know, it's kinda among the line. But you certainly wouldn't want to have to explain it to anybody. Here's what we all have in common with Esau. We have no idea, we have no idea what or who hangs in the balance of our decision of whether or not we choose to trade our future for something that's here now, and now and now and now and now it's gone.
We have no idea, you have no idea what hang, you see, you think you do, I think I do, but the reason Esau wasn't concerned is because when he thought about what he was giving up, everything was just right here in front of him. Jacob knew better. Everybody who hears this story knows better. When people tell this story, we just laugh. Who will do that? I could do that. You could do that. And perhaps you're listening to this message going, I wish I'd heard this three months ago, three years ago, 10 years ago, because I've done that.
So here's the challenge. Would you be willing to stand up straight, sit up straight and decide once and for all now that you know what's at stake. I will not, I will not trade what I value most for something I have an appetite for now. I am not gonna trade what I value most, my preferred future, I'm not gonna trade what I value most, what I know God has for me in the future. I'm not gonna trade what I value most for something that's just an appetite that I have right now. And then would you just do what you ought to do even if it costs you? You'll be glad you did. The people who love you most will be glad you did. The people who depend on you will be glad you did. And the people you love most will be glad you did as well. So what's your bowl of stew? Do don't trade your future, don't trade your story, don't trade your legacy, don't trade your future relationships for a bowl of stew. Just do what you know you ought.