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  • Christine Vogelsang

Being Impulsive


“I’ll do it!” My husband, after our many years of marriage, wasn’t all that surprised I had volunteered to be the “weather reporter” on our NBC studio tour. It wasn’t as if I was pushing my way into the opportunity. Our tour guide kept urging our reluctant group to join in, and I wanted to help out. That’s just me. Today I have a DVD of myself waving my arms in front of a weather map while reading from the prompter. And I look quite the part too!

We are warned throughout our lives not to act on impulse, not to be impulsive. It’s better to think things through, after all. We might embarrass ourselves. We might do something wrong or cause a problem or even hurt ourselves.

That kind of impulse isn’ta good thing. We’ve all suffered the consequences of what the writer of Ecclesiastes warns about when we “follow the impulses of [our] heart and the desires of [our] eyes” (Ecc. 11:9 NASV). While he attributes these poor choices to childhood and youthful indiscretions, unfortunately as adults we too often continue to act in unwise, unthinking and impulsive ways.

WHEN SHOULD WE BE IMPULSIVE?

But there is another side of impulse. It’s the one that motivates us to act instead of just standing there. It’s the one that inspires. It’s the one that sets things in motion. It’s the one that moves us.

Too often an organization or company or even a family is so set in their particular pattern that it seems like nothing new ever happens. Eventually someone comes up with the idea that they need a committee or task force that will give them new ideas or an exciting vision. That’s certainly a good start.

Hopefully the leaders in the company or group will have an idea or two about the direction they want to see the task force to go. But if they really want to shake things up, the leaders will welcome innovative ideas.

But what will be this committee’s motivation, their impulse? Whose impulse will they draw upon? Whose impulse will give them the inspiration they need?

One of my favorite hymns has the answer I seek:

Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee

When I think of my Lord Jesus moving my hands, my feet, my actions with His love, then I don’t have to worry about acting too impulsively, too quickly. I am supposed to be impulsive with His love.

THE IMPULSE OF GOD'S LOVE

This is a guiding force for a company or church or family or any group. If the love of Jesus is my motivation, I act as He would want me to, I plan things that He desires, I am inspired by His grace and compassion, I don’t sit back and wait for someone else to say, “I’ll do it!”

When a company allows itself to be moved at the impulse of Jesus’ love, it really doesn’t need a committee to tell it how to act or what its vision should be. The true task is to discover the many ways a company can exhibit this love and caring to its clients, customers, and employees. Now that’s a committee I would love to be part of!

It’s good to act on impulse… as long as we’re connected to that impulse of His love. We all need to be pushed and prodded to move forward. To be inspired and to inspire others. To be able to improvise and act in ways that solve problems and relieve someone’s burdens. And we should also be allowed as individuals to be impulsive in those decisions without worrying about the consequences of not asking permission.

Acting on the natural tendency, inclination, and disposition that rules our lives should be applauded. But only when we feel the impulse of our Lord Jesus flowing through us, energizing us, stimulating our very being. It is the impulse behind the joyful prayer for guidance that we all seek:

Take my will and make it Thine

It shall be no longer mine.

Take myself and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee.

Then we don’t have to worry about what our response should be, what our dreams and visions can be. Guided by His impulse, our natural, impulsive reaction will always be filled with love and joy!

Leaving my guilt at the cross,

Christine

(First published for Lead Like Jesus July 2017)

#choices #encouragement #spreadingthegospel #christianlife #godspresence

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