STOP AND THINK – I would never follow a leader that doesn’t follow a leader. (John Maxwell, author and motivational speaker)
Maxwell’s thought is worthy of consideration. There are lots of leaders out there who seem to be “Lone Rangers.” They are doing their own thing and gathering a following that seems intent on doing whatever the single leader dictates. Perhaps we would be wise to ask who this leader is following. That will give us a good sense of the direction we’re heading.
The Apostle Paul, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
STOP AND THINK – Live simply so that others may simply live. (Quoted by Paula A. Bowser, actress)
To “live simply” in our western civilization may be difficult. There is such an abundance of everything—goods to be purchased, entertainment to be pursued, activities to engage in. It would take strong discipline to live simply, but if we were to do so, we would no doubt be healthier and happier and could contribute so much more to the well-being of others.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5
STOP AND THINK – Fact one: Everyone who lives is deeply hurt by others. Fact two: Everyone who lives has deeply hurt others. (Darryl Tippens, American academic administrator)
Nearly every adult would acknowledge that at some time or another he or she has been deeply hurt by another person. It’s the unfortunate but common experience of all of us. Is Tippens right about fact two? Wouldn’t we all have to confess that we have hurt someone else very deeply? Those are the experiences that demand both confession and forgiveness.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone (Colossians 3:13).
STOP AND THINK – Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. (Rick Warren, pastor and author)
Almost everyone wants to be a part of the crowd. We don’t like to be left out of what’s going on. But we should use caution in following others. Just because a group is large doesn’t mean it’s going in the right direction. Besides, to be lost in the crowd may mean that you’ll lose your personal identity and the opportunity to stand out as leader who should be followed.
Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong (Exodus 23:2).
STOP AND THINK – If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money cannot buy. (Author unknown)
The old hymn says, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one … and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” The blessings of a good mind, a healthy body, a fulfilling job, a happy family, a prosperous community—these and so many more cannot be bought and are too often taken for granted. Think about them and find joy in what you have.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence (Psalm 21:6).
STOP AND THINK – Enjoy the little things in life … for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things. (Robert Brault, opera singer and author)
Someone else has said, “Stop to smell the roses.” We often pass over little things that mean a lot at the moment—the smile of a baby, the kind word of an encourager, the moving passage of a book recently read. We so often focus on the big events of life that we overlook the smaller things until we look back and remember what was most meaningful.
Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil (Proverbs 15:16). Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice (Proverbs 16:8).
STOP AND THINK – What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. (Thomas Paine, 18th century political theorist)
We have probably recognized the truth in what Paine wrote. When things are given to us or earned at little cost, they are often not valued very highly. But the things we worked hard to get or paid a high price for—those things we value much more highly. We should determine, then, the worth of what we seek and work hard to achieve what is of greatest value.
Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8).
STOP AND THINK – You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. (James A. Froude, 19th century English historian)
No doubt, we would all like to be known for our sterling character, but wishing for such a reputation won’t make it happen. Character, as Froude suggests, is developed over time by an unspoiled reputation, demonstrated by a person’s actions and attitude. You work at being the best person you can be and let others acknowledge the character you’ve developed.
A good name is more desirable than great riches (Proverbs 22:1).
STOP AND THINK – If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. (John Quincy Adams, 6th president of the United States)
Some people seem to think they are leaders, but no one is following them. Others are not concerned whether they are recognized as leaders, but, as Adams says, their actions draw others to follow them. It’s essential that we have leaders who, indeed, do inspire us to dream, learn, do and become more than we would do or be without their leadership.
Remember your leaders . . . Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7).
STOP AND THINK – Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. (G. B. Stern, British novelist)
Have you ever wished you had said “Thank you” to someone and had failed to do so? After the opportunity has passed, we can only regret that we were quiet when we should have spoken up. Think of someone today that you are grateful for and tell them so. It’s never too late to do what is right. Be sure to thank them now!
Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation . . . with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).