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On the Spur of the Moment

January 27, 2019
5 min read
Written By

Impulsivity, almost every day there's a movie, song or book about a character who dropped everything on a hunch to get their dream life. These stories tell us that the true answers in life are found by following our instincts. It may be tempting to follow the same model to solve or avoid all our problems. However, many times these emotional and, oftentimes, irrational decisions can lead to regret and pain. In the Book of Esther, we find an example of the effects our impromptu choices could have. King Xerxes, after having a fight with his wife and a little too much to drink with his friends, made the choice to remove his wife, Vashti, from her position as queen. Later, after sobering-up and calming down, he realized the consequences of what he’d done, having to start a quest for a new queen. We see Xerxes, by acting on his feelings and under peer pressure, ended up confusing himself and the entire nation. Now you may think, Didn't it work out in the end? But the good from the story came out of Esther's obedience, and God's ability to create purpose out of every situation. There was still wreckless fallout due to Xerxes' choices that probably could have been avoided. When we turn the mirror on ourselves, we may remember the times in our own lives when fleeting emotions led our actions. We were then left with regret or complications that would've been easier to deal with had we just shifted our perspective towards God.

Making Wiser Choices

Psychology Today published "When You Should Never Make a Decision," a piece with simple tools to help make difficult decisions without giving emotions full control. As Christians, we can adapt these tools to our decision-making process to strengthen our spiritual connection, taking our situation to God so we can make wise choices:

  • Step Away
  • Resist the urge to be urgent. You don’t always need to reply right away. Take a pause to think. A great way to do this is by fasting for a period of time. If you don’t have much time to make a choice, and asking for more time is not an option, try taking a walk outside for a few minutes and pray. Even listening to your favorite worship song can make a difference.
  • Write It Down
  • Write your decision on a piece of paper, then put it away for a while and read it again later. In your private time with the Lord, you can take it with you and contemplate your options while asking him to provide wisdom and guidance.
  • Identify Motivation
  • Fear is often the biggest motivator. Fear of losing control, losing respect, etc. When you understand the source of your motivations on a decision, you’ll be less likely to be tripped up by them. Find out your motivations and address them head-on.
  • Seek Advice
  • Make sure that the advice anyone gives you is planted in their concern for you and their desire to see you achieve your highest potential. And a good rule of thumb is to only take advice from someone you’d trade places with in the same scenario.

Sure, not every decision requires us to be overly serious. After all, there are spur of the moment choices that can lead to fun, unplanned adventures. But when we allow room for God to shift our perspective and we’re intentional with our decisions-making, thats when we discover true rewards.

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