Compulsive and impulsive behaviors are very much alike; they always leave a bad taste in the mouth of those around us. Basically, being compulsive is not being able to control a pattern of behavior. Being impulsive is reacting without thinking about your actions or the consequences of those actions. The bottom line is that both behaviors are clear evidence that you are unable to control your actions in response to what you think you want at the moment. It comes down to the lack of self control. Hopefully, without sounding like I am over-simplifying things, I would like to share a recipe of character-ingredients related to preparing a good “life-dish”. Forgive the food analogies; it happens when I am hungry! Anyway, I’ll move on with my “Heaven’s Kitchen” topic. When someone is dishing out obsessive behaviors, it is an example of a valuable missing ingredient–patience. I’m talking about a person who has not been able or willing to show a consistency of patience in life. This life pattern of impatience is a result of the poor, distasteful ingredients of pride and arrogance. To put it bluntly, an impatient person does not care about showing respect for the position, needs or how their actions affect others. Impatience does not want to wait for the appropriate time for something and does not care what the consequences are for its selfish urgency or its affect on others. The self-promoting position of pride is primarily due to a deep lack of humility and gratitude. It’s our nature to forget about the precious value of these ingredients. When a person takes on the faulty perception that they have accomplished a certain status in life without the provision, grace and mercy from God, then pride is the basis of their character or lack thereof. It’s amazing to me how we mere mortals think that we have put the sun in the sky, planets in perfect orbit, oxygen in the air, and even engineered our own DNA in order to achieve what we are able to accomplish and acquire. We are even so convinced that it is about us that we will defend our actions and lack of control by blaming it on others–feeding our demons of pride and desire for the control we seem to have lost, but are unable to accept. Ouch, I didn’t mean to sound that blunt. The times we are tempted to be the most prideful is when we need to recognize that as our cue to humble ourselves before God with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the blessing of talents, resources, and opportunities. All that we have and are able to do has been given to us by God. We did not create our brain, nervous system, body or even our ethnicity. What we are responsible for is to be faithful stewards of these gifts we are given, regardless of how great (or insignificant) we think they are. Even as good stewards, we have to be careful to not to be prideful when we do well. It is still God who has given us the ability to handle things well. Our commitment to be good stewards is a tribute to our Creator who loves us. Our attitude of humility and gratefulness places us in the “oven” of God’s Spirit which has the power to control our self-centered compulsive actions, cook up a wonderful dish reflecting God’s glory—giving Him the honor that He deserves. This is a “God-pulsive” lifestyle. When this is our motivation and drive, we will be able to sift out the behavioral ingredients that will ruin good character–pride, impatience and compulsive behavior. Which Life-Dish are you serving?
Pride & Arrogance > Impatience > Lack of Self Control > Compulsive/Impulsive Behaviors = Bad Tasting Life-dish : (
Humility & Gratitude > Patience > Self-control = Glorifying God & Blessing Others!! Yummy : )
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.” ~2 Peter 1:3-7 (NLT)