The 10-Second Rule

I recently read “The 10 Second Rule:  Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do” by Clare DeGraaf.

After I’m done reading a book, I’m only half done with it.  I don’t want to just plow through the book and have no recollection of what I’ve read a year from now.  So I go back through the book and re-read all my underlined sentences.  If they still stick out to me in a big way, I type them up and keep record so I can always go back and see what I really got out of each book.  Yes, it takes a lot more time, but I’ve gained a lot from following up on books I’ve read.  So… here’s my notes on this book.

This little book was really neat.  The main premise was that we often pass people in need or come upon opportunities to be Christ-like to others.  But it requires a quick decision, we don’t have time to go home and think about whether or not we should give help to a homeless person or smile at a custodian.  Sometimes we think too much and just need to make a less-than-10-second decision.   Obviously for big things in life (who we marry, where we will work, etc) we should receive counsel and seek wisdom through prayer.  But some smaller decisions require us to be quick to obey.  Here’s some one-liners from the book:

“Don’t over-think it, just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do.  It doesn’t require that you be certain.  To be reasonably certain enough to act on an impulse or impression from God.  I only need to believe it’s the kind of thing Jesus himself might do if he were me.  I don’t need to be 100% certain.  In fact, the need for certainty is often the enemy of obedience. ”

“When you let that initial impulse to do something good for another human being pass, life moves on- comfortable and predictable.  It’s disobedience by default- you simply have to do nothing.”

“Live with near reckless abandon this amazing adventure of following Jesus.”

“Don’t just give money away, give yourself away.”

Tell people you gave to:  “Everything I have belongs to God, so He paid your bill, not me.  Just thank Him.”

“It scared me to think that I might end up like so many I’d known, whose central purposes in life appeared to be killing time pleasantly in warm places, doing a little volunteer work- oh, and of course, going to church.”  “Cry out to God to forgive you of your spiritual laziness.”

“I’ve often wondered if Jesus ever just slowly rubs his thumbs over the scars on his hands in disbelief that we would treat so casually his great love and terrible sacrifice.”

“Jesus expects all of us who claim his name to full-heartedly give our all to loving God, doing his will, and serving his kingdom on earth.  When that’s not enough- and it isn’t of course- yes, in the end he remains faithful, even if we aren’t.  That’s the real purpose of grace- to do what I can’t.  It should never be my excuse for what I won’t.”

“When we obey God spontaneously and immediately, love trumps logic most of the time.”

“I’ve been trying to be more spiritually impulsive, because when I pause and think, I lose the guts to do the next right thing and then the moment is over and I’ve missed out.  And so has God.  When you’re reasonably certain Jesus is asking you to do something, do it immediately!  Waiting just gives you a chance to “think too much.””

“Christian character is shaped less by our big, dramatic decisions than by the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of obedience.”

“Many dream of doing great things for God, half hoping he won’t ask.  Fewer wake each day longing to be used by him- that day.”

Speaking of soldiers who have died for our freedom:  “Millions of men and women all over the world have been more devoted to the greater good of mankind than to their own lives.  Yes, their individual sacrifice mattered.  And so does yours. ”

“As a member of God’s family, your mission in life is to be Jesus’ stand-in!  That means he expects you to behave like him- as if he lived in your house, raised your children, saw the same strangers and needy you see, and hung out with your friends.  More than that- it’s intentionally living with your “spiritual radar” full on, eagerly anticipating his next assignment.”

“We often refer to nice things people do for others as “random acts of kindness.”  However, God is anything but random.  He’s sovereign over this world of His, and everything He absolutely wants done, gets done.  So no impression that’s truly from God is ever random.  Through our simple, faithful obedience, combined with the obedience of our spiritual family members all over the world, he’s putting together a puzzle that He alone sees in its entirety, piece by piece.”

“I’ve never met a serious follower of Jesus who didn’t have a regular, daily time of prayer and Bible study, and I doubt you’ll be the exception.”

“Tell people to thank God, ‘not me,’ for anything good that I’ve done.  “I sensed God wanted me to help and I’m simply trying to be obedient.  So please, just thank Him.””

“Look for opportunities to be grace dispensers.”

“Don’t overthink the impressions God gives you- simply be obedient.”

“A good definition of faith is this:  courageous obedience.  Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do, as directed by Him.  Don’t argue with it, don’t overthink it- just do it!”

“Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower you to listen more attentively to his promptings.”

“Pray for you to have a radar to the needs of others.”

“Make pre-decisions before your day starts of the Christ-like love you’ll show to others, even those you don’t like.”

“Encourage custodians, store clerks, people eating/ standing alone, look for those who are alone and often overlooked.”

“Some people try to make themselves look good instead of making God look good.  It’s like taking a branch, wiring apples to it and gluing leaves on it.  Trying to look good without actually having surrendered my life to the lordship of Jesus.  This behavior and worldview are pretty much in sync with the Christian culture all around us.  We try to mimic but it doesn’t look anything like what Jesus required of his followers.  It’s a shallow counterfeit.  Be a real apple tree!”


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