The fighters are in the ring. They are ready. Ladies and Gentleman, (in my Michael Buffer voice) let’s get ready to RUMBLE!!! Introducing first, in the red corner, draped in dark green, with an unprecedented number of knock-outs, trained by flesh, stands my IMPULSIVE self. In the blue corner, wearing the royal purple and gold, trained by the Holy Spirit, stands my SELF-CONTROL self. Let the fight against impulse begin!
This illustration may seem exaggerated, but have you ever let impulse get the best of you? You may feel like you’re in a fight that favors hasty decisions, quick-tempered actions, and rushed moves that knock you on your feet. I’ve been in those rings. The great news is that through continual growth and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you, self-control wins!
An impulsive person has a short fuse and can ruin everything, but the wise show self-control.Proverbs 14:17 TPT
There are situations that embracing spontaneity can be beneficial and lead to positive outcomes. You can differentiate between healthy impulses vs harmful ones. Yet, scripture tells us that when it comes to making important life, relationship, and financial decisions, patience is the needed virtue.
The Fight Against Impulse
Galatians 5:22 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The flesh and the spirit are in conflict with each other. The key here is to live by the Holy Spirit to receive life-giving outcomes.
So the next time you’re in a ring, tempted to make an impulsive decision or impulsive purchase, try to pause and ask yourself these questions:
- Have I prayed about this decision or purchase? Have I sought accountability and wise counsel about these impulses? Have I surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit?
- What is triggering my impulsive behavior (i.e. stress, tired) and are there specific patterns or situations (i.e. financial, relationship, emotional) where I struggle the most with self-control?
- What are my long-term goals so I can practice delayed gratification and not hinder progress?
- Is there a healthier or better alternative instead of the one I am tempted with at this present moment?
- How can I reward myself for practicing self-control and achieving my goals without compromising my progress?
Let’s pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit, to lead, guide, teach, and comfort us. We ask that when we feel overwhelmed in a fight against our flesh, that we depend on and live by the Spirit. I ask that you help anyone reading this prayer that they will come out of the fight victorious, taking steps toward growth, wisdom, and self-control. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.