STOP AND THINK – In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change. (Susan Taylor, editor, writer, and journalist)
Legend has it that the Chinese word for crisis is made up of two words meaning “danger” and “opportunity.” Whether that’s an accurate translation or not, it does suggest the best way to look at crises when they occur. Often, as Taylor says, a crisis may force us to make a change for the better. So, we should accept the crisis and work toward beneficial change.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
STOP AND THINK – Do what you can, where you’re at, with what you have. (John Wooden, renowned basketball coach)
Do the tasks before you seem insurmountable? We look at their immensity or difficulty, and we think we can’t do much. Wooden says, however, that whatever we can do, do it. Don’t look for something far away, perhaps more glamorous; do what you can right where you are now. And don’t think you haven’t enough resources; use what is at hand.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others. (1 Peter 4:10)
STOP AND THINK – Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. (Winston Churchill, World War II British prime minister)
When we’ve accomplished something significant, we may think that our success will continue unendingly. On the other hand, when we stumble and don’t do well, we may think we’ll never be able to do anything well again. Churchill reminds us that neither is true. We must get up and with courage move ahead to greater achievement.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. (Joshua 10:25)
STOP AND THINK - I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou, African-American poet)
We should be careful about what we say to people. Did we say the right thing? Were we critical? Did we make a joke at somebody’s expense? It’s important to remember that it’s not merely the words we use, but the tone and accompanying body language. The question always is how we made someone else feel. Aim to make them feel good.
Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect. (James 3:2)
STOP AND THINK – Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed. (Wayne Dyer, self-help author and motivational speaker)
Dyer is encouraging people to live in the present; don’t fret over the troubles or losses of the past, and don’t worry about the unknown future. Live for now. For a lot of people that is good advice, no doubt. But, we need to be reminded that, while life is not just a rehearsal, it is only temporary, and there is a future to be aware of and prepare for.
The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death. (Proverbs 10:16)
STOP AND THINK – The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one. (Marianne Williamson, teacher, author, and lecturer)
Williamson is emphasizing the importance of each individual. She says further, “Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us.” That’s all true, of course, but a more important issue might be the specific influence an individual has. It begins with personal integrity and seeking after the good.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
STOP AND THINK – Change is the end result of all true learning. (Leo Buscaglia, author and motivational speaker)
We live in an age of learning. Resources are readily available to study almost any subject. But, as the Bible says, we may be “… always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). Unless knowledge of truth is applied to life, there will be no change—thus, no learning.
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives. (Titus 3:14)
STOP AND THINK - Leaders don’t force people to follow; they invite them on a journey. (Charles S. Lauer, healthcare publisher)
A leader who forces people to follow is a dictator or tyrant, someone who doesn’t give his “followers” a voice in the direction or goal of their trip. The successful leader, who has a willing and happy following, is one, as Lauer says, who invites people to join him. How much easier it is to follow when we are invited to go along and are involved in the planning.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people. (Matthew 4:19)
STOP AND THINK – All cases are unique, and very similar to others. (T. S. Eliot, playwright and poet)
Sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it? It’s true that virtually every circumstance in life is unique to your own personal experience. But, it’s also true that “There’s nothing new under the sun.” So, when you feel like you’re alone and no one else can appreciate what you’re going through, stop to consider that others have had similar experiences and survived.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
STOP AND THINK – Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. (Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the independence movement in India)
Gandhi was thinking of freedom in a political context, but the principle holds true in a more personal way, too. Unless we allow people to make mistakes (e.g. our children, novices learning a new job, rookie athletes), we will hinder their opportunity to learn and to grow in new endeavors. Excellence is to be desired, but perfection cannot be required.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)