STOP AND THINK – Be a lamp—a lifeboat—or a ladder. (Rumi, 13th century Persian poet)
The theme of these metaphors is helping others. Perhaps you can be a lamp, bringing light into a person’s life when things seem dark and foreboding. Or, maybe a lifeboat, rescuing someone struggling in the turmoil of uncertainty. Or a ladder, providing a way for a person to climb out of his difficulty. Look for opportunities to help someone who is struggling!
Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
STOP AND THINK – Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. (Goethe, 18th & 19th centuries German writer and politician)
Knowledge is important; you won’t get far without knowing something. Willingness, even eagerness is good; without them you won’t go far, either. But knowledge is worthless if it is not put to use. Wisdom is the good use of knowledge. Likewise, it takes more than a willing attitude to accomplish anything worthwhile. As Nike puts it, “Just do it.”
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)
STOP AND THINK – Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself. (Thomas Watson, chairman and CEO of IBM)
Many people aspire to be leaders. They think they can manage other people and lead them to accomplish worthy achievements. Before giving such a person the authority to be the boss, it would be wise to examine his or her life to see how they conduct their own affairs. If they have led themselves well, then you can count on them to do the same at the head of a team.
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15)
STOP AND THINK – Arrogance yields agonizing emptiness. Humility welcomes others. (Dan Rockwell, Leadership author and presenter)
While humility is a desirable and admired character trait, arrogance is just the opposite. Most people try to avoid the proud, arrogant person, who is all wrapped up in himself or herself. Such people often really don’t want others around them unless they themselves are clearly in charge. On the other hand, humble people usually welcome and are welcomed by others.
For . . . arrogance [is] like the evil of idolatry. (1 Samuel 15:23)
STOP AND THINK – Next to love, balance is the most important thing. (John Wooden, late award-winning college basketball coach)
Two things are evident: First, love is most important. That’s a biblical principle that Wooden lived by—and so should we! Second, the antidote for the extremism that seems to be so prevalent in our world today is balance. Again, the biblical principle is “moderation in all things.” Our lives would be more peaceful if we were to find that important balance.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. (Philippians 4:5)
STOP AND THINK – An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality. (Samuel Smiles, 19th century Scottish author and reformer)
Smiles continues: “Our desires [are] often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.” The person who is really “into” his project can almost will it to completion. That doesn’t discredit hard work, but it shows how important it is to be able to have a vision of what you want to accomplish and pursue it with expectancy.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
STOP AND THINK – It’s extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is. (George Will, American journalist)
They say that no two snowflakes are alike. Couldn’t the same be said about people? There are many similarities among various people, but each one has his or her own personality, temperament, and gifting. Each really is extraordinary, and we should encourage those differences that can enable anyone to make a meaningful contribution to society.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
STOP AND THINK – There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage. (Martin Luther, 16th century German Reformation leader)
In a day when marriages are crumbling, and there are new and troubling definitions of this age-old institution, it’s good to note how rewarding and fulfilling a happy marriage can be. Like anything worthwhile, marriage takes effort, time, and agreeable compromise. Don’t give up, persevere, and seek help from the one who created marriage.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)
STOP AND THINK – If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it? (Dogen, 13th century Zen Buddhist teacher)
Before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, He was asked, “What is truth?” That’s really the big question, isn’t it? Truths may be obvious—like gravity or the cycle of the seasons—and can be proved scientifically. Others, however, must be accepted by faith in the authority of the one who carries the message, but they are no less true.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to [God] except through me. (John 14:6)
STOP AND THINK – All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. (Galileo Galilei, 16th-17th Italian scientist and philosopher)
“Why didn’t I think of that?” we might say when we learn something new to us that is so obviously true, but we had overlooked or not known about. When it’s brought to our attention, we immediately recognize its veracity. It makes us wonder what other truths are “out there” that we don’t know about yet. Let’s set our minds to seeking truth.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17) Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)