Do you know when to act quickly?

timeforaction“Abigail acted quickly…” (1 Samuel 25:18). Do you? Do you act quickly when it’s time for quick action, or are you prone to prolonged speculation or endless second-guessing?

Sometimes it is tough to get the timing of our actions right. Sometimes we act too quickly, and then live with the fallout and regret of our rash actions. At other times though we think and ponder and strategize until our opportunity for positive action has effectively moved on. I think there is an art to knowing when to wait and when to move.

Here are a few suggestions for how to learn that art.

  1. When in doubt, don’t. If you aren’t sure if the timing is right, take a little longer to think, pray, and pursue wise counsel. If you doubt the timing of your actions, you might never be confident that you actually moved when you should have. The ensuing insecurity can haunt you for a long time afterwards.
  2. When peace is absent, don’t. If you don’t possess an honest, internal peace that the decision you are about to make is the right one, then slow things down. Before you ever move forward with significant decisions, make sure that both faith and peace are guiding you.
  3. When there is more to be learned, don’t. Don’t get caught in the trap of doing endless research before taking decisive action; however, make sure you do enough. If you haven’t reasonably considered all of the ramifications of your decision, take a bit longer to get better informed.
  4. When the time is right, move. Once you’ve done your research, and you’re finally possessed with peace, and you believe God is approving of your decision, then it’s time to move, and move quickly.

Something happened in 1 Samuel 25:18 that caused David to lose his mind and plan to commit murder. Fortunately, Abigail stopped him. She saw the shrinking opportunity for intervention, she knew what needed to be done, and—thankfully for David and his legacy—she acted quickly. When it’s time for us to act quickly, let’s be like Abigail, and let’s do the same.

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