Proverbs 14:17 An impulsive person has a short fuse and can ruin everything, but the wise show self-control. (TPT)

Strictly speaking, there are no such things as good and bad impulses. Think…of a piano. It has not got two kinds of notes on it, the ‘right’ notes and the ‘wrong’ ones. Every single note is right at one time and wrong at another. The Moral Law is not any one instinct or set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts.

C. S. Lewis

There is a sober warning that comes with being impulsive from relationships to daily living. Whether such behaviour comes from a spontaneous shopping trip that impulse buys items like chocolates, clothing, mobile phones, or expensive stuff like jewellery, vehicles, and other big-ticket items. The trip to the shops without the real intention of buying anything may have severe consequences and cause someone to ‘blow up’ over the purchases. The state in which the purchaser leaves is determined by whether or not they can afford the purchases; it pays to be careful! Spending feels good, but it can ruin everything!

However, being cautious and apprehensive about impulsive actions, fearing a mistake could be made, is an overly safe way to live and not much fun. Taking a risk, acting on a ‘gut’ feeling can be life-giving. Nonetheless, the Bible’s concerns are valid when applied to impulsive actions and their consequences on relationships. So, checking your impulses and making thoughtful decisions when acting impulsively is crucial.

Sometimes your impromptu actions serve a good purpose. They allow the decision-maker to act swiftly and seize an opportunity that might otherwise pass by. This fruitful and positive impulsiveness has been referred to as “functional impulsivity,” which is a blessing in disguise. 

It’s important to trust our impulses. They can serve as a warning ie, I had an urge to take another route home and later found out the road was slippery and too dangerous to drive on. 

Even if we do not initially act on them, they should not be disregarded. Whether in a relationship, a job you want to apply for, moving up, or asking for a more significant role at work, the world encourages us to follow our natural instinct. Trusting the gut can be good for you.

In looking at the word impulse from all these different angles as a Christian, I can’t help but ponder the Holy Spirit as an impulse guide. He leads and guides. David was ‘tuning in’ to avoid being impulsive when he penned Psalm 23 so that he was led beside still waters and did not impulsively sit at a table amongst his enemies, but dined with the Lord’s cover and protection.

Those ‘gut’ feelings come from the Holy Spirit and enable us to pull back or embrace the prompting of acting swiftly and decisively, whether in an emergency situation, dangerous or thrilling situation. 

Tuning in and asking God before being impulsive is wise; it shows self-control and may avoid a disastrous situation or lead you beside still waters and enable you to sit in the presence of your enemies. It is essential to check where the impulse comes from, whether is it from the flesh or His Spirit. Let us always be moved by the impulse of His love Take my life and let it be Lord consecrated Lord to thee.

Until next time,


1 Comment

  1. Hmm. I have to think about this. I never equated impulses to gut feelings before, but you may have a point.
    Thanks for sharing.


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