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Acting on Impulse

So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob.  Genesis 25:33 NLT

Photo courtesy of pixabay.As my wife checked out with our groceries and staples, I peered at a price tag and contemplated a decision.

I’ve always been an impatient type. Extra money stirs an itch. On this occasion, I wanted a new computer and one that was more compact. Sam’s wholesale company had one on sale. 

I ambled up to my wife with a long face. “They have one for less than two hundred dollars.”

“Well, buy it,” she replied.

I had her approval, but I hesitated. I’d never owned a Chromebook before. But impatience and desire took over. I made the purchase. Soon after, I discovered I’d acted on impulse without doing the necessary investigation. Most of what I do at school and church and with my writing requires Microsoft Word. Chromebook didn’t support it. 

Two weeks after acting on impulse, I bought another computer that suited my needs. I advertised my Chromebook on Facebook. Fortunately, it sold it quickly—and without losing money.

Esau acted on impulse too. He enjoyed hunting and had just returned from a hunting trip when he smelled the luscious stew his momma-boy brother was cooking. In haste, he traded his rights as the oldest child for a bowl of stew. Later, he hated his brother for stealing his birthright, yet he couldn’t do anything about his loss—but stew.

When I want something badly enough, rationalization comes easily—convincing myself I need this particular thing … persuading myself spending money I don’t have is acceptable. Sometimes the pressure to buy isn’t internal, but external. Other people have what I want, and they encourage me to get it also.  

I failed to do the most important thing before making my purchase: consult God. I didn’t have to get on my knees—or even close my eyes—but I could have prayed at the sales counter and asked His opinion. He can check my spirit and prick it one way or the other. Though I didn’t pray, I felt the prick—and ignored it.

Making purchases based on biblical principles is also essential. Am I spending money I don’t need to spend? Does owning this thing conflict with my testimony as a believer? Is making the purchase going to lead me into unnecessary debt?

God is more than able to give us wisdom for every purchase we make. Consult Him so you won’t act on impulse—and later regret it.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


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Martin Wiles


Martin Wiles lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, pastor, and author who has been published in numerous publications. He also serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and as a proof editor for Courier Publishing. He is the author of five books, and his next book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Busy World, in under contract with Ambassador International for release in December, 2019. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three. He can be contacted at [email protected].