STOP AND THINK – When you have to start compromising yourself or your morals for the people around you, it is probably time to change the people around you. (Marc Daniels, American television director)
When we’re faced with situations and circumstances that would seem to demand moral compromise, we must decide which is more important: our integrity and values or our relationship with people of differing standards. Relationships are important, of course, but standing up for what is right is essential if we are to maintain our integrity and reputation.
Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right. (Proverbs 16:13)
STOP AND THINK – No matter how long we’ve traveled on the wrong road, we can always turn around. (Gil Scott-Heron, musician and author)
Sometimes we become so bogged down in a rut that we fail to realize we’re following a path to nowhere. Somewhere we got on the wrong road, and we’re too proud to admit it and make a U-turn. But, it’s never too late to start over. Learn from the mistakes you’ve made on the wrong path and proceed with a quickened step on the right road in the right direction.
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me. (Philippians 3:13-14)
STOP AND THINK – Progress depends on human choices and human courage. (Michael J. Gerson, speech-writer and author)
A lot of events and people must be involved in creating the future. It’s not happenstance, and it isn’t fate. As Gerson says, human involvement is required to determine how things will work out in the unknown days ahead. So much depends on making choices—good choices. And, having made them, courageously pursuing their fulfillment is the sure path to success.
Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 10:25)
STOP AND THINK – Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you . . . you will be neither successful nor happy. (Napoleon Hill, American author of the New Thought movement)
Hill adds that you will not be happy, “… until you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word of those whom you do not admire; until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others.” Respecting others and valuing their worth are necessary to understanding who they are and building a meaningful relationship.
Give to everyone what you owe them: . . . if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor (Romans 13:7). Show proper respect to everyone (1 Peter 2:17).
STOP AND THINK - When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless. (Chris Colfer, actor, singer, and author)
You have probably run into someone who “rubbed you the wrong way.” People hurt people with words and innuendo maybe more than by physical mistreatment. How do we respond to such verbal abuse? Words do hurt, but Colfer’s advice is helpful. If you can respond quietly and without anger, you’ll recover quickly and the offending person will likely hurt more.
Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. . . . Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. (Luke 6:28, 30)
STOP AND THINK – Never judge reality by your own limited experiences. (Robert Schuller, televangelist and author)
People are inclined to think that their personal experiences represent the totality of reality. How they respond to a given situation is how they think everybody would feel. However, people rarely react the same even in similar circumstances. Life is more than your own experience. Broaden your horizons by observing reality all around you.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? (1 Corinthians 2:11)
STOP AND THINK – Be someone for somebody. (Mother Teresa)
No one wants to live in isolation. Though some are less gregarious than others, still they profit from some relationships even if they are few and infrequent. But, for those who are isolated because of disease, poverty, or unjust discrimination, there needs to be someone who will recognize their worth as created in the image of God and move toward helping them.
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right (James 2:8). Blessed is the one who is kind to the needy (Proverbs 14:21).
STOP AND THINK – If you are not using what you already have, you won’t use what you think you need. (Ken Duncan, Australian professional photographer)
We are often tempted to say, “If I only had (fill in the blank), I could do ….” But the question, as Duncan points out, is “Are you using what you already have?” Chances are that when we don’t adequately use what we already have, we probably wouldn’t do any better with anything more. Use what you have now in the best way possible.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)
STOP AND THINK – Life is a series of choices between the bad, the good, and the best. Everything depends on how we choose. (Vance Havner, 20th century evangelist)
Many people don’t have a lot of trouble resisting what is bad for them, whether it’s a matter of diet, leisure activity, or business dealings. The enemy most often is not what is a bad choice, but settling for what is good, but not the best. We should work to improve at whatever we do—to be better at it, and strive for the best in everything we work at.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Temptations are everywhere. It’s your job to avoid them. (2 Minutes a day. 100 Devotionals)
It’s obvious, isn’t it? We are constantly faced, either directly or by innuendo, with opportunities to do wrong, to give in to baser emotions. Even magazine ads and TV commercials can tempt us to do something we know we shouldn’t. But whether it’s as simple as overeating or drinking too much or something more sinister, it’s always our choice.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13)