STOP AND THINK - Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. (Will Rogers, humorist and social commentator)
Everyone wants to think he’s “on the right track.” We may need some spiritual guidance to determine what’s “right.” But once we find the truth, we can’t just sit on it. To be right and do nothing with our “rightness,” probably means, as Rogers says, we’ll lose out, and, what’s worse, we’ll never discover what being on the right track can lead to.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable … think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
STOP AND THINK - As antitoxins prevent the disastrous effects of certain poisons and diseases, thanksgiving destroys the poison of fault-finding and grumbling. (Clinton C. Cox, pastor)
We are certainly grateful for the development of serums that counteract diseases and poisons of various kinds. No doubt, there are thousands of survivors of such life-threatening experiences because of the proper medication. Likewise, in a spiritual sense, there is an antitoxin for depression and dissatisfaction. You can find it in learning to be thankful.
Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
STOP AND THINK - We often learn more of God under the rod that strikes us than under the staff that comforts us. (Stephen Charnock, 17th century English Puritan clergyman)
No doubt, all of us prefer the staff (comfort) over the rod (pain). But, if we are honest about it, we would probably have to confess that we’ve learned some important lessons about life while suffering the consequences of our poor decisions and evil deeds. Real comfort comes when we respond to the rod with confession and reformation of life.
A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom. …your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Proverbs 29:15; 23:4).
STOP AND THINK - There is a limit beyond which patience, tolerance and charity toward another’s sin ceases to be a virtue. (David Garland, British law and sociology professor)
Tolerance is a much-used word in today’s society. Some have wrongly used the term to excuse the evil practices of others because they think they are protecting the others’ rights to act as they want. A more lawful perspective considers the importance of forgiving someone’s wrong-doing but also acting to restore him or her to proper behavior.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you . . . should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
STOP AND THINK - A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. (Walter Winchell, newspaper and radio commentator)
Have you ever felt all alone in the midst of some kind of struggle? Everyone seems to have deserted you, and you feel abandoned. It’s at times like that when a true friend steps into our turmoil to counsel, console, or simply encourage you. Such times reveal who our true friends really are. We should be on the lookout, too, to see who we can befriend.
A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17). There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
STOP AND THINK - Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. (Hannah More, 18th-19th century English writer and philanthropist)
Having a goal is a good thing, but it’s often hard to keep it foremost in your planning and thinking. There are so many things that can get in the way of reaching your goal, and many of those “obstacles” might even be good things in themselves. We must steer around the obstacles and be careful not to be a barrier to someone else as they work toward their goal.
Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister (Romans 14:13).
STOP AND THINK - If an egg is broken from an outside source, life ends. If broken from an inside source, life begins. (Jim Kwik, learning expert)
Kwik also says, “Great things always begin from the inside.” Another wrote, “Real change can come only from within.” That’s good food for thought. Sometimes we’re greatly affected by events outside ourselves, and they can be invaluable learning experiences. But, it’s what is in our heart and mind that motivates us to achieve anything significant.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).
STOP AND THINK - Be how you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. (Dr. Seuss, children’s writer and cartoonist)
So many people try to be careful about what they do and say because they fear what others might think of them. Actually, people are probably not thinking about them as much as they think they are. We should not be as concerned about what people who don’t know us think as we are about what is true about us, no matter what anyone else thinks.
A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. (Proverbs 21:2)
STOP AND THINK – After the age of 80, everything reminds us of something else. (Lowell Thomas, journalist and newscaster)
Any octogenarian can testify to the truth of Thomas’ comment. Some of those “reminders” are pleasant and enjoyable; others recall disappointments and sadness. It’s a reason, then, for those who are younger, to live in a worthy manner and with strong relationships, so the memories of youth will bring joy in the “golden” years.
It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right. (Job 32:9)
STOP AND THINK - It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. (Benjamin Elijah Mays, sociologist and educator)
He also wrote, “The tragedy [in life] lies in having no goal to reach.” In fact, he says, “Low aim is sin.” Some people seem just to be taking life as it comes, living without real purpose or goals. With all the talents and gifts God has given us, surely we must do more than “just live.” Set goals, aim high, and work hard; that will give you a sense of purpose and worth.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me (Philippians 3:14).