The Terrible Plight of the Impulsive Christian

 

“Unstable as water, you shall nimpulsivetiggerot have preeminence.”

Genesis 49:4

“Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he “followed Him at a distance” on dry land.” 

Oswald Chambers

Peter was bold, brash, and impulsive.  

That explains much. He did good things for sure, but he also could be weak and vacillating. This quality also describes those of us who are fairly often morally and spiritually out-of-control.

The impulsiveness symptom describes much of our actions, and our personal direction. We are something of a “loose cannon’ and we can deeply frighten people who know us. We love God deeply, (at least some of the time).

Those of us who struggle with mental illness must often deal with impulsiveness.  We find ourselves turning aside so quickly.  We do those things which will later destroy us.  Self-destruction comes so close. It’s like we are playing some kind of spiritual ‘Russian Roulette.’ I wish that this wasn’t so.

But our soul is constantly loved and watched over. 

He cares for us as a Father cares for His son.  As mortals we make a lot of choices. Many are godly, some are not.  We sometimes find ourselves out of control, mostly because we choose so poorly. We know it’s wrong (so much cries out against it)  but we do it anyway, no matter what. We are often ashamed of our impulsiveness.

There is a lot out there, much that can side-track us. So many choices, and many opportunities.  And the Deceiver will parade them all in front of us. I suppose that sin is as seductive as we let it be.  I remember a friend saying, “It can’t take me if I don’t want to go.” That makes some sense I think.

We must try to develop a commitment to what we know is true.

Impulsiveness will tear us apart.  When it resides in our heart, it’ll eventually destroy us.  It’s like uncontrolled nuclear fission within, it takes over and it seems I can’t stop it.  When I find myself out-of-control, it seems to take me  beyond human help.  Once we are in this state, we are completely unreasonable. It seems only God can intervene.

In my awful impulsiveness, I can see His faithfulness.

We often think we are just spontaneous people, and we consider it to be a plus.  But our decision-making is dangerous. (Some will understand what I’m saying, but many others won’t).

It seems when we choose the worst we’re degraded us the most.  We make these sudden decisions without the Spirit’s guidance.  They take us to places we otherwise never dare to go.  We find ourselves in an ugly and lost place.  We chose wrongly, and usually without considering the results of our choice.

When we are impulsive, we are like a ship without an anchor.  We go with the wind and the current, pushed along and directed by no one.  We think we are spontaneous, when all we are is desperately foolish. We’ve chosen to sail into forbidden waters. We’re really in spiritual danger.

We now face the reality of being shipwrecked!

As a physically and mentally ill person, I simply can’t direct myself in a God honoring way apart from His active hand.  I’m a just ‘a kid out of school’– unable to understand the eternal issues at stake. When I abandon myself to the vacillating foolishness of my heart, I bypass the strength and solidity of the Spirit. I sail into forbidden waters.

If I could pass anything on to others, it would be the ability to say “no.”

I really don’t want to degrade and destroy myself by my wrong choices.  The Holy Spirit keeps comforting and encouraging me, all with an endurance and persistence far beyond my reasoning. For some odd reason, He is very much in love with me, (isn’t that strange)?

Truly His pursuit of me is relentless. He won’t give up.

But even in my impulsiveness, I can still see His faithfulness. He wants to free me from these awful forces that would tear me apart. He isn’t sitting on a comfortable throne, passively watching to see if I survive. No, not hardly. Instead He comes alongside, and holds me in place. “Thank God!” 

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Tigger Meets With a Therapist

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from the Internet–

 

A Therapists Consultation: TIGGER

(Winnie the Pooh’s Irrepressible Friend.)

Diagnosis:

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD): Tigger’s continual bouncing, hyperactivity and irresponsible attitude cause problems for him and those with whom he lives, as well as those he interacts with in the wider community.

Physical presentation:

Rarely sits still. He’s always running, climbing, or fidgeting.

Diet:

Having tried – and firmly rejected – honey, haycorns and thistles, Tigger settles on extract of malt as his food of choice. While this particular substance is unlikely to exacerbate his condition, a more balanced diet would almost certainly benefit him and perhaps contribute to an improvement in his behaviour.

Family background:

No information is available on Tigger’s life before his arrival at Pooh’s house. Nothing is known of his previous address or his family of origin, although it has been said that he is the only Tigger.

Patient notes:

Tigger’s arrival at Pooh’s house in the middle of the night is evidence of his inability to control his impulses. A less disordered individual would have known that it is more appropriate to visit people during the day, especially when dropping in on someone one scarcely knows or has never met.

Impulsive behaviour, interrupting and intruding are at the heart of Tigger’s problems. Soon after their first meeting, for example, Tigger suddenly interrupted Pooh, climbed on to the table, wrapped himself in his host’s tablecloth and brought everything crashing to the floor.

When questioned by Pooh about his behavior, rather than accepting responsibility for his actions, Tigger accused the tablecloth of trying to bite him. Tigger makes bold statements, such as declaring that he is only bouncy before breakfast. He proclaims impulsively that whatever food he is offered is what Tiggers like best, then gulps down large mouthfuls of the food in question, only to find he dislikes it very much.

More evidence of Tigger’s recklessness and poor impulse control is displayed by his belief that he can do anything. He has no sense of fear or responsibility. This was apparent when he climbed up a high tree with Roo on his back before he had ascertained whether he was able to climb a tree in the first place. Inevitably, they then got stuck when he realised he had no idea of how to get down.

On one occasion, Tigger grabbed Roo’s medicine from Kanga, which he proceeded to swallow, almost devouring the spoon as well. Obviously the medicine might have proved dangerous to him. Tigger never learns from his mishaps, bouncing back almost immediately after a frightening and potentially hazardous incident. As a result, Tigger’s behaviour causes concern to those around him.

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Living with someone suffering from ADHD can be trying. Perhaps this is why Rabbit suggested the rather extreme measure of taking Tigger into the forest and losing him in the mist. Rabbit and his friends believed the shock of being lost might cause Tigger to calm down a little on his return, a strategy that backfired…

“ADHD is a disorder that makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. He or she may also be restless and almost constantly active.” –National Institute of Mental Health

Try out: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-the-basics/index.shtml#pub5

 

 

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Traveling Mercies, [The Journey]

Things can get pretty grim just living life.  But add a disability, and suddenly blam! It gets worse.  A mental illness intensifies life, and the weird concoction of symptoms and hospitals, therapists and medications and family/friends is a bit daunting for anyone. Imagine, that it’s a bit like running through the wilderness slathered in ‘bacon grease,’ trying to stay ahead from the bears (I’m writing this from Alaska, hence the bear imagery, lol.)

My walk with Jesus has extreme variations (at least, on my part.)  I’m up, and then I’m down.  I’m on fire and then I’m cold.  I struggle to attempt at least a modicum of consistency, wishing I could just put two ‘good days’ together.  I am ashamed by this volatility.  The apostle Peter, or David are probably the only guys in scripture I can really understand.

The impulsivity of my mental illness has driven me to turn my credit cards over to Lynn.  I try to avoid liquor stores, porn sites, and urges to strip off my clothes and run down Pioneer Avenue.  I definitely try to go to Church, read the Bible and pray.  But I have been known to hallucinate, I hear things, and get awfully paranoid.  I’m always, it seems just one step ahead of my psychiatrist in avoiding the hospital.  (And I want to keep it that way.) And suicidality is an almost real monster– always lurking for me under my bed.

But I have also learned many other things from being a mentally ill believer:

  • When its really dark, His love always comes through. He understands me. He intentionally ‘looks’ for me. He’ll never quit on me.
  • My discipleship is not about the externals of my theology, but it’s about romance from my heart.
  • In my pathetic brokenness, He is my strength and my shield. Always.
  • Worship and prayer are more like invasive “medical procedures” that keep me alive.
  • Love. I’m learning to be kinder and more aware of others then ever before.
  • I want to live in the Light and respond to others in Christlike way. Never out of my fallen sinfulness.

I suppose I could add more, if I thought about it.  Ultimately, it all comes down to the presence of Jesus Christ coming to meet me, to forgive me and to change me.  This simple blog is saturated with posts that other Brokenbelievers can wade through, and some just might help, lol.

The title of this post alludes to a quote I found. I’ve gently modified it. Not sure where I found it. But it gives the explanation for all that I’ve said:

“Life should NOT be a journey to heaven with the
intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
with bruises and band-aids, and some tears as well, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming… “WOO HOO what a ride!”

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Scorched, But Deeply Loved

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Peter on the spot

“Then Jesus said to Peter, “Go away from me, Satan! You are not helping me! You don’t care about the things of God, but only about the things people think are important.”

Matt. 16:23, NCV

Principles of the Kingdom will often will sound like a simple conversation to an outsider.  Things are often established or nullified with a ‘face-to-face.’  In this chapter of Matthew we hear Peter extolling the divinity of Jesus (vv. 15-17).  Peter exceeds the norm with his analysis of what is real. It is as perceptive as it is supernatural.  “You are the Christ,” Peter proclaims, “the Son of the Living God.”  Jesus responds to this and Jesus praises him for this insight.

One of my personal problems is that I am way too spontaneous.  It gets me in trouble. I have become a fool more times than I bother to count.  I will do something that is outrageously amazing– and in a short time I am flirting with apostasy.  Often this is indicative of bipolar disorder, a mental illness of some considerable significance.

I’m not sure why Peter does what he does.  But just a short time after he makes his astonishing pronouncement, he is taken apart by Jesus, being solidly rebuked ‘face-to-face.’  In one clear moment he expresses an awesome and wonderful faith, and suddenly his personal stock suddenly and precipitously crashes.  He is now a pariah that needs to be avoided. Every disciple will be scorched. But loved.

This is quite bitter. It seems that in the light from this chapter (actually seems like a bright glare,) Peter is astonishingly quite devastated.  In three years of discipleship it seems that all he merits is a brutal ‘dressing-down.’

The rebuke is bitter.  Peter is being compared to Satan!

In a blur of just a few minutes he moves from “hero-to-goat.”  I suspect that Peter was ashamed.  He most likely wished he had a “rewind button.”  His savior, Jesus– has given him a new label.  And it hurts.  Many times, we would become resentful, maybe a bit bitter.  It could cause some to walk away, developing an anger that solidifies into something very scary. Thank God, Peter doesn’t do anything stupid.

 The correction in the rebuke gives him life, and a hope.

But who’s to say we would be as correctable?  One thing to add, earlier we mentioned the ‘conversational approach’ of discipleship.  Peter was rebuked in the presence of the other disciples.  The publicity was embarrassing.  Too many people were watching and listening. Peter will survive this, but he has learned something valuable.

Our daily commitment to Jesus hinges on our willingness to be “undone.”  His heart and plan pretty much precludes any “secret or hidden” agenda.  Jesus pretty much rakes us over the coals.  He will insist on an uncompromising obedience to His faithfulness.  Every true disciple will be scorched— but loved.

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