WRIGHT WAY: Actions and impulses
Jun 19, 2013 | 3887 views | 0 0 comments | 151 151 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Our actions are neither so good nor so evil as our impulses,” wrote 18th century French moralist Marquis De Vauvenargues. I’m inclined to agree. An honest person may admit to feeling various impulses that, if acted upon, could be considered immoral, criminal and even dangerous.

For example, a person can make you so angry in traffic that you may feel an urge to shout profanities, use obscene gestures or resort to violence. But that is not what you do. That is only an urge. It is an urge we learn to control.

All humans must learn to control their temper, stifle certain impulses and force themselves to behave like decent, law-abiding citizens. We are also expected to control our thoughts and behavior when it comes to people of the opposite sex or same sex.

Not controlling compulsive desires has led some people to acts of molestation and rape — even upon small children! Pedophiles may say they were born with such urges but the choice to act on them is inexcusable.

Many youths struggling with their sexuality wonder if having an attraction toward the same sex is an early indication they are homosexual. What do you think? Some heterosexual adults may recall a time when they felt sexually ambivalent in their youth.

Some may have felt an overwhelming attraction to a teacher, a movie star, a pop star or a close friend of the same or opposite sex for a time. Sigmund Freud even suggested boys in one stage of their lives (the Oedipus complex) are in love with and desire their mother, while girls in a similar stage (the Electra complex) desire their father.

Any youth who feel such impulses should realize that desires are simply desires. They do not define us. It is our actions that determine who and what we are. Not our inclinations.

As James 1:14-15 says, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” — New King James Version.

Has a person sinned simply by having salacious desires? Not according to the Bible. But if the desire is acted upon it can give birth to actions condemned by God.

Instead Colossians 3:5 says, “Don’t be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don’t be immoral or indecent or have evil thoughts.” — Contemporary English Version.

Since God’s Word condemns satisfying all sexual desires outside of marriage — same-sex or the opposite sex — such impulses put all humans in the same category. We all have a battle to fight.

Although the popular view is to embrace your sexuality and accept who you are, the Bible says we can do better than that. It tells us that some early Christians who had formerly given in to their desires were able to stop, turn around and change.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” — English Standard Version.

This gives hope to anyone who is promiscuous, alcoholic, to people suffering from kleptomania, pedophilia or any other inclination contrary to the will of God — that change is possible. Having perverted impulses does not make one a pervert. Our actions define us all. Many people, with God’s help, have learned to control their actions.

No. It is not an easy fight. But anyone who desires to please God must conform to His moral standards, even though it may be extremely difficult. 1John 2:1 says we have a helper with the Father — Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:22, 23 says the fruit of God’s Spirit includes self-control. So, If we pray for God’s Spirit to help us act better than our imperfect urges, God will give us the help we need to succeed. The desire may never fully go away, but neither will God’s love forsake those who suffer to uphold His high moral standards.

Nobel Prize winner and Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “When the heat and motion of blind impulses and passions distract it on all sides, we can neither give nor receive anything truly.

“But when we find our center in our soul by the power of self-restraint, by the force that harmonizes all warring elements and unifies those that are apart, then all our isolated impressions reduce themselves to wisdom, and all our momentary impulses of heart find their completion in love.”

All civilized people must restrain certain impulses. No one can give in to every inborn tendency in life. We are all faced with desires we must suppress. Thankfully, only God Almighty gets to judge our actions. May He pardon our imperfect impulses in His Divine completion of love.

*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.