The Five Second Rule?
I’ve been listening lately to a best-selling author and speaker who claims that you can change your life in 5 seconds, by acting on impulse within that time. It certainly might get you off the couch. It’s better to do something than do nothing, right? Sounds like a great self-improvement idea!
But there is a flaw in the reasoning of the 5 Second Rule.
As believers, we are rarely instructed by God to be hasty in action or decisions. The Creator of our souls understands us best and gives reasons why we should not do what comes to mind – without giving it more than 5 seconds of thought.
Prov. 14:7-8 says, “Stay away from a foolish man;
you will gain no knowledge from his speech.
The sensible man’s wisdom is to consider his way,
but the stupidity of fools deceives them.”
vs. 12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
Vs 15-17 The inexperienced one believes anything,
but the sensible one watches his steps.
16 A wise man is cautious and turns from evil,
but a fool is easily angered and is careless.
vs. 29 A patient person shows great understanding,
but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.
Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
But is there a time we should be quick to respond to an impulse or motivation? Yes.
Be quick to listen. James 1:19 – My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Be quick to obey the Lord. Psalm 119:60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
Be quick to love and forgive. Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Be quick and diligent to do what we already know is right. James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
What about when you are not sure what God wants you to do?
Wait on Him for wisdom and ask for it.
James 1:6 – If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
The Disney admonition to “Follow Your Heart” is not wise. Our hearts can deceive us. Emotions can mislead us. We are to be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8), and He never disagrees with His own Word. So, we can pray for wisdom, study the Scriptures, and wait on the LORD when we are unsure of direction. When we know the right thing to do, we should act. But even in acting, we need to be thoughtful about how we do it, not impulsive. It is far too easy for our “flesh,” our fallen natural tendencies, to cause us to do something right in the wrong way. If we are led by the Spirit, instead of our own sinful nature, we will do the right thing, and we will have the strength and the will to do it.
Because it is God who works in us to will and to do His good pleasure! (Phil. 2:13)
We do not trust in our own hearts, our own impulses or timing to direct us if we want to live Godly lives and produce good work that pleases our Father.
Prov. 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
He who promised is Faithful, and He will do it! (1 Thess. 5:24)