The Fight Against Impulse

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.

Additional Reading:

3 Ways to Overcome Fear

From Death to Life


  1. Some great thoughts here Nicci. I tend to jump into the fray. I am learning to step back. It takes time.

  2. Great questions to ask. Leaving something in the cart and waiting to see if I really need (or want) the item worked me for many times. Having a goal also helps with progress and self-control with a reward at the end. If it’s a huge goal, I’ll break it up to prevent discouragement and burnout. Thanks for your words especially the scripture reference.

    • Nicci

      Breaking up big goals into smaller ones is a great way to enjoy the process along the way. Love that idea. I’ve also heard the idea of sleeping on any big decisions so nothing is made out of emotions. Thank you for reading! Blessings!

  3. Good questions.

  4. These are such good questions to ask ourselves. There have been times I impulsively made a decision which I then regretted. When I take the time to process and think it through, waiting on God to lead, it always leads to a better outcome. May we remember He is for us and all He does is for our good. I think this is my first time here so may I say, “It is nice to meet you!” Blessings!

  5. We bought it on impulsive whim,
    a Camaro in ice-green,
    and though impulse might be a sin,
    it was a cool machine,
    built way back in ’69,
    preserved unto today,
    survivor of a happy time,
    work balanced by play.
    We drove it all about the land,
    the wide and sere Southwest,
    but I think you may understand
    that Camaro did not pass the test,
    for my dear wife turned 50,
    and Camaro lacked A/C.

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