STOP AND THINK – Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them. (Epictetus, ancient Greek sage and Stoic philosopher)
We do let things bother us, don’t we? Whether it’s a disappointment at work, in sports, or personal relationships, we can be easily discouraged. We would do well to heed the ancient Greek philosopher’s words. Most often it’s not the things or the disappointments, but our emphasis on things rather than people and God that leads to our distress.
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 1:14)
STOP AND THINK - Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities. (Norman Vincent Peale, 20th century minister and promoter of “positive thinking”)
Sometimes we become discouraged because circumstances seem to be working against us, and our hope for success becomes dimmed. It’s then that we need a friend or counselor who can help us see beyond the present to consider what can be done to reclaim the lost hope and move toward success. Faith in the God of the impossible will sustain you.
Everything is possible for one who believes. (Mark 9:23)
STOP AND THINK - The only person who likes change is a wet baby. (Mark Twain)
Change is inevitable. Like it or not, we will face innumerable changes as we move through life. Some of us hate change; others just “go with the flow.” They adjust well. But for some, as Billy Crystal said, “Change is such hard work.” Let’s not resist change but accept and welcome it when it’s for our good.
Jesus: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
STOP AND THINK - If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? (John Wooden, noted basketball coach)
In our fast-paced life, we are often faced with a dilemma: do we slow down to do the job better or do we hurry on because there is still so much to do? It’s worth stopping to consider Wooden’s question. If we have to do our work over, correcting our mistakes, it will just compound our time problem. Better slow down to do it well and right the first time.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
STOP AND THINK - Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results! (Rita Mae Brown, Emmy nominated screen writer and novelist)
Why is it that we so often pursue the same goals with the same effort, when doing so hasn’t worked so far? Are we really that senseless? Or do we think that persistence will eventually bring the results we want? We should be willing to learn from our mistakes and try something different in our pursuit of worthwhile accomplishments.
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. (2 Timothy 2:22)
STOP AND THINK - Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States)
What do you know about oysters? It appears that they aren’t terribly active; they just lie in their shell and vegetate. If a grain of sand gets into the oyster, it may produce a pearl. But Roosevelt was probably just using the oyster as an illustration of inactivity. And we all need to be reminded from time to time that life requires our full attention and active involvement.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all . . . giving thanks to God the Father.(Colossians 3:17)
STOP AND THINK - Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person. (George Eliot, pen name for Mary Ann Evans, 19th century English novelist)
Eliot wrote further, “. . . having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words . . . knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” That’s the kind of friend we all want, trustworthy and faithful, keeping confidences and offering a safe haven.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)
STOP AND THINK - Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result. (Winston Churchill, World War II British prime minister)
Having served in the military, Churchill no doubt knew what he was talking about concerning physical danger. He also played very significant roles in two World Wars, and as a prominent politician, he experienced many verbal assaults. Yet, he survived to lead his nation from nearly fatal attacks to ultimate victory.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11)
STOP AND THINK - Public charisma without private character will ruin you as a leader. (Wayne Cordeiro, pastor and author)
Whether it’s the old-time snake-oil salesman or the modern day Internet scammer, ultimately, no amount of personal charm will cover up evil or deceptive behavior. As the Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” We should be more concerned about our reputation and integrity than about our popularity.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)
STOP AND THINK - Love is not automatic. It takes conscious practice and awareness, just like playing the piano or golf. (Uncertain source)
You may enjoy music and sports, but participating with skill takes serious practice. Likewise, while we may respond pleasurably to an attractive person or develop emotional feelings for a friend, true love has to be cultivated. Genuine love seeks the best interest of the one you love. And, because it takes practice, everyone you meet can be your practice session.
Serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)