Increase Impact By Decreasing Impulse


Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
George Elliot

When was the last time you did something impulsive?

Going out for ice cream is one of my most favorite impulsive things to do.  But I’m sure I’ve done some other pretty impulsive things.  After I graduated from college, I impulsively leased a Limited Ford Explorer.  This was such a dumb move.  Many of my impulsive moves involve stupid purchases.  For example, I bought a set of books about the worlds greatest inventions.  I only had to pay for the 30 volumes in 15 “easy” payments.  What was I thinking?  I’ve barely cracked open these books.

When was the last time you did something impulsive to develop yourself?

This is a bit more of a challenge.  I’ve probably signed up for a race or two on impulse, but it required a lot of work to prepare for the race after I signed up.

Developing yourself doesn’t happen by impulse.  It happens by discipline.

Discipline isn’t often very fun.  It requires focus and determination.  It requires stamina.  And it requires a vision for the end which happens after hard work.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11

This is true in many areas of our lives.  If I want to be a better runner, I have to put in the practice.  If I want to be a better speaker or writer, I have to do it repeatedly.  When we reach our goal time in a race or when we publish something worthwhile that we wrote, we can see how discipline pays off in the end.

Why don’t we realize this when it comes to our relationship with God?

Growing closer to God does not happen by impulse.  It happens through a series of repeated small steps.  It happens by discipline.

If we want to have a mission mindset, we have to be focused first on our growing closer to God – we have to live a life of discipline.

Do you consider yourself to be impulsive?  In your life, how has discipline led to greater rewards?  What steps do you need to take to grow closer to God?