STOP AND THINK – The art of life is to live in the present moment. (Emmet Fox, 20th century “New Thought” leader)
Fox continues: “[We can] make that moment as perfect as we can by the realization that we are the instruments and expression of God Himself.” Fox is expressing an ancient thought, first revealed by God “in the beginning.” Although imperfect because of our failure to live up to God’s standard, we can still be His instruments, recognizing the purpose He has for us.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
STOP AND THINK – The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. (George Mueller, 19th century evangelist and orphanage director)
Sometimes it seems as if we are living in the age of anxiety. People seem to be worried, anxious about both the little and the big things of life. For many, their fears lead to a great sense of hopelessness. Mueller says the answer to anxiety is faith. And faith cannot be in the transient, undependable features of modern day life. It must be placed in the faithful One.
For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. (Psalm 33:4)
STOP AND THINK – Men . . . will not reflect on the end of their present course, and the sure consequences of their present days, and [they will] wake up to find they are damned for a lack of thinking. (J. C Ryle, 19th century Anglican priest)
This is a brief excerpt from remarks addressed to young men by Bishop Ryle. Unless we train our children (boys and girls alike) to begin to think about their actions and their outcomes, they will, indeed, suffer the resulting consequences. We must all learn not to live just for the present moment, but with foresight to maximize a better future.
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. (Psalm 37:37)
STOP AND THINK – Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. (Carl Sandburg, Pulitzer prize-winning poet and writer)
Do you value time as highly as money? Which is the more valuable? After all, we all have only a limited amount of both. It’s important, then, that we exercise great discipline in the use of each. Sandburg goes on to advise, “Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” People can waste our time, so we must be sure we use it to its best advantage.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15)
STOP AND THINK – Security is structuring my life around what is eternal and cannot be destroyed or taken away. (Bill Gothard, author and speaker)
In a day of uncertainty (economic, political, social, etc.) where do you go to find a sense of safety and security? Some look to financial investments; others to education; still others to religion or personal counselors. But all of these sources are temporal and will pass away. The only positive alternative is to look to the One who is eternal and all powerful.
Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress. … It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. (Proverbs 14:26; Psalm 18:32)
STOP AND THINK – Sometimes the smallest things can take up the most room in your heart. (Winnie the Pooh, a cartoon character)
Often there’s much we can learn from children’s stories. And from childish experiences, too. Remember the times when you were all wrapped up with some incidental event in your younger years? Like the princess and the pea (another children’s story), we sometimes let the smallest things take all our attention while we ignore the larger issues of life.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)
STOP AND THINK – Oh, that I might never be so void of love to my fallen brother as not to give him a serious reproof, nor so void of love to myself as not to receive a serious reproof. (George Swinnock, Puritan preacher and author)
It’s true that “love covers over a multitude of sins” (the Bible), but that doesn’t mean we should overlook the harmful faults and bad habits of those close to us. If we really care, we’ll kindly show them a better way. Not only that, but if we truly love our friends, we will accept their correction of our own faults.
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 – Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence. (Vince Lombardi, late renowned football coach)
Perhaps, nowhere is peer influence more evident than in the sports world. The attitude of teammates often carries more weight than that of family or friends. So, when someone on the team shows extraordinary self-confidence, the whole team seems to be more self-assured. But, when one member appears less confident, the team’s momentum may falter as well.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. (Jeremiah 17:7)
STOP AND THINK - In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. (Mary Manin Morrissey, motivational speaker and author)
Morrissey suspects that some of us might “have one foot on the brakes.” Something in our past has kept us from moving forward. She suggests, “The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life.” And she asks, “What is it you would let go of today?” We should release the fears of the past and concentrate on moving forward.
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 – Count your blessings and make your blessings count. (Rev. J Davis Illingworth, Sr., late Presbyterian clergyman)
Many of us tend to take our daily blessings for granted: food, shelter, family, friends, freedom—and many more. Having more than enough demands that we must be careful in how we use those benefits. Are we investing them for worthy purposes? Are we sharing them? Are we using them for the benefit of others? We must honor others with our blessings.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48)