The 10 Second Rule

I read an amazing book the other day that, well, changed my life. It’s a short little book, just 171 pages, but I’m certain it will forever change the person I am. In fact, it may have the potential to change the world, one person at a time.

The book is called The 10 Second Rule, by Clare De Graaf.

The 10 Second Rule says, “Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do. (And commit to it immediately—in the next 10 seconds—before you change your mind.)”

Almost all of us have done random acts of kindness from time to time and they make us feel alive, don’t they? That’s because they give us a taste of what we were really created for: to love God and to love our neighbor.

In fact, stepping out of our comfort zone long enough to be spontaneously generous and kind when God throws those opportunities our way feels so good, we may find ourselves asking, “What if I could actually live like this every day?” Well, we can.

Another wonderful idea in this book is found in a chapter called Pre-decisions. If you’ve ever had an opportunity to help someone and didn’t, then regretted it later, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Just make a pre-decision about what you’ll do differently the next time. Because there will be a next time. The idea of deciding something ahead of time is also great advice to share with your teen-age children. They will inevitably face situations—drugs, alcohol, dating—where they will be forced to make a choice, and if they’ve thought about it ahead of time, they’ll be much more prepared to make the right decision in the moment.

De Graaf also suggests “doing the rule 10430.” Try the 10-Second Rule for thirty days. Here’s what it looks like (from his book).

1)    Pray for God’s help. It might look something like this:

Ask Jesus, for at least the next thirty days, I want desperately to live by the 10-Second Rule as faithfully as I can. I want to honor you and bless others by obeying you spontaneously and generously. Holy Spirit, I ask you to empower me with wisdom, opportunity and courage to live out my faith with boldness and grace. I need you to help me do this. Please forgive me when I don’t. Amen

2)   Read the Gospel of Luke in thirty days.

If your goal is to listen and obey Jesus, then the best place to start is to get to know him intimately. Luke includes many stories and teachings that have to do with helping those in need. And there are twenty-four chapters in the book of Luke so it’s ok if you miss a few days.

3)   Fearlessly obey God.

Listen for his whispers. Be courageous and obedient. Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do. Don’t argue with it. Don’t overthink it—just do it!

4)   Pray daily.

Pray for opportunities to arise in the routine events of your life. Pray for courage to be bold when God speaks. Pray for the ability to listen more attentively, to hear His promptings.

If you’d like to do the 10430 with me, I’m going to start it in November and I would love to be your prayer partner so we can share stories and help hold each other up. Just contact me via email or the contact page of my website. I’d strongly suggest reading the book before you begin. It’s a quick read and available online and you can find out more at

Thank you, Clare De Graaf, for touching my life and the lives of those around me.


Have you touched anyone lately?