Responding – ON Purpose (step 1)

On Purpose vs Impulsive

Writing to myself today. It’s been a week of opportunities to refine my ‘on purpose’ responses. I wish I could say it’s going well.

While my responses have been less than purpose filled, God has used this time to help me draw closer to Him and see what He is working out in me. Sharing today because…

1) I truly need to write this out to myself and

2) Maybe God is nudging me to share with someone He’s also working with

So what does it mean to ‘respond ON purpose’? For me it’s best defined by the opposite of what it is.

impulsive - to act without thought

I cringe as I think about the impulsive responses I’ve let come out of my lips the last couple of weeks. Speaking without thought or regard for the consequences of those words; just letting whatever comes to my lips be spoken – impulsively.

And then there was the justification that happened shortly after these words would blurt out in an email or tense conversation: “They should be glad I didn’t say everything I was thinking!”

Sigh.

If I’m truly honest with myself, there was one impulsive response that was emailed out of frustration and I cannot say it was 100% impulsive. There was that moment before I hit send when the spirit nudged me and asked me to consider my purpose for sending this inflamed response. And then I hit send… purposely.

Yes…I regretted it soon afterwards as the Lord made sure I quickly learned more information that made the response unwarranted.

Sigh…again.

Providentially, my daughter had asked me that same week to begin a Bible study with her called ’40 Day Word Fast’; a study about fasting from words that harm, judge, criticize, slander or deflect from the glory of God.

The morning after my impulsive email response, as I reached for my phone to pull up the study app, I knew in my spirit what that day’s devotional and scripture reference would be. I had no doubt. I even went to bed that night knowing it would be this. And so…I hesitantly extended my finger toward the link for the study verse…conviction rising up as I clicked to see what I already new would be there.

…For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

Matthew 12:34b NASB

Oh my yes…. what is in the heart flows from the mouth. I gave into the disobedient action hitting send on that email because of the unconfessed bitterness and frustration I had in my heart. In that moment, I chose the fleshly joy of retaliation over the soulful joy of obedience. God showed me what I was harboring in my heart and made it quite clear that I had to confront it and have a healing conversation.

This was just one of my impulsive response moments recently. Most of the others occurred as spontaneous outbursts in the heat of a conversation and all flowing from that which was filling my heart.

It was definitely time for some self- coaching!

But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts].

GALATIANS 5:16 AMP

Self Coaching – Making More Room for Him

As I drew near to God and asked Him to show me what was the source of my impulsive nature recently, I asked myself questions like: 

  • When did you notice this change in responses?
  • Who do I respond to most impulsively?
  • What emotions am I feeling when I give into this impulsiveness?
  • When was the last time you didn’t have this restless feeling that driving the impulsive responses?

As the answers peeled back layers to reveal the things I was harboring in my heart I was able to self-coach more deeply with questions like: 

  • What has to happen to let go of the negative feelings I’m harboring?
  • Who is ultimately responsible for the way I feel?
  • How long do I want to stay in this place
  • When will I be ready to do what it takes to let go of these things I’m harboring and make room for more of what God wants to fill me with?
  • When will I take the next step required to allow peace back into my heart?

Conversations like these are very powerful when we let God into them.

Without God, they become more like one-sided conversations of personal justification.

With God, they are conversation of conviction followed by healing and freedom to move beyond where we’re stuck.

I have more to share from my heart about responding ON purpose, but all for another day.

Do Something On Pur•pose today...
  • Take some time to purposefully reflect on how purpose-full (God glorifying) your responses to people, situations, emotions, etc… are right now.
  • Ask God to reveal anything harbored in your heart that may cause an outflow of anything less than that which brings glory to Him.
  • Welcome God into a ‘self coaching’ session and process things out of your heart that need to leave so you can make more room for Him.

_______________

Need help? Let’s connect. Living on purpose is not a special skill or ability that some have and some do not. We all have everything within us to live on purpose, but sometimes we need help finding it! My passionate purpose is to help others sort and sift through the questions that lead them to the truths that already exist within them. Wanna chat? 

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