Impulsive ~ by Christina

Impulsive ~ by Christina

Sign up or not sign up? That has been a question I have continued to struggle with for years when I think about my master’s degree.  I even took a couple of classes toward the requirements but then life continued to happen and my degree progress took a backseat spot in my life.  Then each time I thought about getting back on track for completing it, for one reason or another, I didn’t continue my classes.  There is a part of me that is impulsive and wants to just get it done.  Then there is a flip-side of my thinking that says “wait”.   Decisions can be so frustrating!

So here I am, fall 2020, asking the same question yet again — “sign up or not sign up”?  I want to be “wise” in my decisions and not just impulsive.  I read that the book of Proverbs are there to give us “instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity” (ESV).   When thinking about this verse “Kingdom Drive” who wrote a devotional about this in my YouVersion Holy Bible app said:

This is the opposite of impulsiveness.
It is wisdom for living the life God intends us to live.

I know what impulsiveness is – I can be impulsive.  I pulled the definition from and it says: “If someone is impulsive, it means that they act on instinct, without thinking decisions through. … Impulses are short, quick feelings, and if someone is in the habit of acting on them, they’re impulsive. When stores stock chocolate at the checkout line, they are hoping you will impulsively decide to buy it.”   (= GUILTY!)

I have been thinking about the way I react sometimes instead of respond.  There are times that a quick response is needed.  Think about it though, even when a quick response is needed, we should still not react with a quick, no thought, response.  To make a wise decision and response we should probably reflect or spend at least a little time before deciding which way to go/word to say/reaction to take.

Some people know that I have had times in my past where anger and quick reactions were normal for me.  I would sometimes react with horrible words, yelling or even striking out physically.  My husband could tell you stories from our dating years where I would quickly react anytime people would begin to physically fight by jumping in and trying to break it up — crazy stories where he (or I) could have been hurt because he would try to protect me.  My habit used to be to react first, then think things through afterward.  There were times where I thought things through but often it was just me in my chaos going from one situation to another without thinking through the possible outcomes.  That didn’t always end well.

I find a struggle in making decisions because I so want to make the right decisions.  But then, I have been reminded that if I am resting in, relying on, and in relationship with, my heavenly father then there are no “wrong” decisions.

As I have continued my journey, God has changed me drastically.  I have learned (and continue to) that I don’t have to have a quick answer.  I can “wait” and that is still an answer.  God’s word has shown me in many ways that he is listening, leading and giving me the answers, if I would just ask and listen.   The book of James is full of confirming verses where if we ask, God will give us wisdom.  James 1:5 specifically describes this.

We all go through decision making each moment of our lives.  Emily P. Freeman writes and broadcasts about her book “The Next Right Thing”.  I highly recommend her book and that you subscribe to her podcast, emails, etc.  She offers great tidbits into the topic of decision making in a way that speaks into my heart and thinking.  The truth is, some decisions don’t always seem clear.  That’s why it is important to seek wisdom, but in the end, do what you believe is the best next right thing.  We don’t have to have all of the answers to make the next step, but we can make each decision not out of impulse, but rather out of deciding what is the best next step to take or do.

“Whether you’re in the midst of a major life transition or are weary of the low-grade anxiety that daily life can bring, Emily helps create space for your soul to breathe so you can live life with God at a gentle pace and discern your next right thing in love.” Emily P. Freeman

Impulsiveness is one way to look at things, and sometimes our impulse is to make that decision too quickly, or to do or say something without thought; there are times for this —but, reality is that even our impulsive decisions result in a good or bad consequence.

The question that I have continued to ask myself again and again, “sign up or don’t sign up?”, is one that I have thought about again and again, and have not decided on an impulse.  Today, I signed up.  I made the decision to take my best next step.  I don’t want this to be an impulse, but there is part of me that second guesses even when I’ve thought it through.

What am I trying to share here?  That there are a places for impulse responses, but let that impulse linger just a bit longer.  Take a step further and reflect even for a short time in an effort to make your decision a wise choice instead of an impulse reaction.  Don’t react…respond.  Reactions are often clouded with our baggage, ill thoughts or bad habits from our past, and consequences we don’t want.  Responding takes our reactions to a place where we have thought about what may or may not happen as a result of our next step/our decision.  The consequence may not have been thought out fully, but at least we can rest in the fact that we didn’t over-react to something, or that we have taken the time to come up with a plan, a solution, a step in the “right” direction instead of looking back thinking “why did I do that?”.

I am praying for you as you read this.  I am praying that you and I will look upward and receive wisdom that leads us to decisions that lead us to the best next thing, not just for the big things, but also the small things.

5 Replies to “Impulsive ~ by Christina”

  1. Very nicely written. I like the way you went from reaction to response. I will be praying for your journey ahead this semester!

    1. Thank you Mel. It truly is a pleasure to share… I enjoy being open and sharing. So glad to know you are enjoying what I have to say! <3 I miss you too!

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