STOP AND THINK – Let your dreams, not your regrets, take command of your life. (Robert Schuller, pastor and author)
Many people seem to be so wrapped up in things that didn’t go right—their failures and disappointments—that progress in their lives has almost come to a halt. Schuller encourages us to think of what we’d like to see happen. He says, “Build a dream, and the dream will build you.” Surely, it’s better to dream and look to the future than to live a life of regrets.
Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off (Proverbs 24:14).
STOP AND THINK – Often the biggest thing blocking the light is our own shadow. (Ken Duncan, Australian professional photographer)
Duncan was undoubtedly thinking of shadow and light as it relates to taking pictures. Most of us, at one time or another, have ruined our photos when our own shadow blocked the light on the subject. That’s a good analogy of what life is like sometimes. There can be so much of ourselves in a situation that we fail to see the light.
I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment (Romans 12:3).
STOP AND THINK – Never place a period in your life where God only meant to place a comma. (Gracie Allen, American comedian with her husband, George Burns)
Sometimes things happen in our lives that bring us to a sudden halt. We think the particular circumstance is impossible to overcome, and we want to quit. Reflecting on the situation, however, might help us see that it isn’t all over yet; there is further opportunity to finish the task. Let’s not be too quick to quit. Perseverance will often result in a worthy achievement.
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).
STOP AND THINK – It is more important to be kind than to be right. (Church sign board)
There seems to be an increasing lack of civility in modern society, so the church signboard is a good reminder about the need for kindness. Indeed, we ought to demonstrate kindness whenever we can, but we must also offer our aid in ways that are right and proper. We should always try to do right and to do it as kindly as we can.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone (2 Timothy 2:24).
STOP AND THINK – Pride is the worst viper in the heart. There is no one sin that does so much to let the devil into the hearts of the saints and expose them to his delusions. (Jonathan Edwards, important philosophical theologian of the 18th century)
Edwards continues, “Nothing is so hateful to God, contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, or of so dangerous consequence.” The Bible says that “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). As someone has pointed out “I” is the middle letter of pride. Don’t fall prey to the devil’s lie. Ask God to help you think of others first.
In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but . . . to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
STOP AND THINK – There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind. (Darwin P. Kingsley, business executive and author)
“You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do” he says. Most of us would agree that we could do a lot more if only there was some way to unleash the potential within us. In spite of the limitations imposed from outside ourselves we could all do more, no doubt, if we were to dig deep and work harder.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
STOP AND THINK – Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit. (William James, American philosopher and psychologist)
Our personal thoughts, attitudes, and choices will likely not have a great impact on the world as a whole. But, as James suggests, our choices and the way we care for our personal affairs, will determine our own personal universe. The people we associate with, the goals we pursue, the places we choose to go—all determine the personal world we create around us.
The righteous choose their friends carefully. (Proverbs 12:26)
STOP AND THINK – To finish first, first you must finish. (From a novel by Garth Stein)
It’s a simple thought, isn’t it? But, at times, we may be tempted to give up, to drop out of the race. Our job might be tough. Obstacles will often face us in our striving to reach a certain goal. As someone else has said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” To achieve success in any venture, we must work hard to finish and to finish well.
Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it. (2 Corinthians 8:11)
STOP AND THINK – Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world. (Hans Margolius, German author)
Peering into the moving waters of a lake or pond gives us a distorted reflection. Looking in a cracked or blotchy mirror does the same. These analogies really do give a good picture of the cluttered mind, a mind that is filled with the busyness and complexities of life. It’s only in times of quiet mediation without outside interference that we can think deeply and clearly.
Stop thinking like children . . but in your thinking be adults. (1 Corinthians 14:20)
STOP AND THINK – Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom. (Merry Browne, 20th century American athlete)
When we approach a subject with predetermined opinions, we will most often find it difficult to learn anything new or gain greater information. As Browne suggests, a mind already made up is a closed mind. New truth cannot penetrate the biases we bring to our study. As much as possible, the honest student must consciously open his mind to new truth.
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out (Proverbs 18:15). Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands (Psalm 119:66).