STOP AND THINK – What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. (A. W. Tozer, 20th century pastor and author)
In our highly secular world many people may claim that they never think about God. But, in reality, it’s probably true that everyone does at some time or another. Tozer claims that at that time, what you think is critically important. You may believe He exists or you can deny His existence, but whatever you think will largely determine how you live your life.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)
STOP AND THINK – If you don’t give when you don’t have enough, you won’t give when you have more than enough because it’s a heart issue no matter how much you have. (Mike Lee, American pastor)
Sometimes we don’t give to a worthy project because our income has dwindled and we don’t think we can afford to give anything away—especially cash. But, as Lee suggests, if we don’t develop the habit of giving when we don’t have a whole lot, we’ll probably never learn to give or be generous when we have more. We must develop a heart for giving early.
But since you excel in everything [else]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
STOP AND THINK -Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. (C. S. Lewis, 20th century Christian apologist).
We don’t see much display of humility today, do we? Athletes and entertainers, for the most part, seem to be pretty wrapped up in themselves. “I’m the greatest” is often heard in a sports interview. Perhaps it’s the adulation of the people that feeds such egotism. But we would all profit from applauding the work of others and thinking more of them and their best.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3-4)
STOP AND THINK – The challenge is to be yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. (Author unknown)
If you pay attention to television commercials and magazine advertisements, you might be led to think that everyone should use the same toothpaste and wear the same brand of jeans. Although we value individualism, it seems that we’re being encouraged to follow the crowd and be like everyone else. Is that really a worthy goal?
Set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
(1 Timothy 4:12)
STOP AND THINK – Generally speaking, there are two kinds of tests in life: adversity and prosperity. Of the two, the latter is the more difficult. (Chares Swindoll, American pastor and author)
Everyone would agree, no doubt, that times of adversity are times of testing. You have to have strength of character and conviction to persevere through those difficult times. It is, perhaps, less obvious, that times of prosperity may bring even stronger testing. It is in those periods we are tempted to overlook the critical issues of discipline that bring better results.
Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. (Luke 12:15)
STOP AND THINK – Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. (Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States.)
Coolidge went on to say, “Talent will not … Genius will not … Education will not. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” He points out that the world is full of talented people, geniuses, and well educated men and women who are “unsuccessful” and even “derelict.” So, regardless of your innate abilities, persistence can help you succeed.
A faithful person will be richly blessed. (Proverbs 28:20)
STOP AND THINK – Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. (Helen Keller, deaf and blind American author and lecturer)
No one likes to suffer; we all try to avoid it as much as possible. Few of us have had to live with the handicaps that Helen Keller experienced, yet she persevered and became the first blind and deaf person to earn a college degree. She wrote and lectured about her experiences and became an inspiration for multitudes of people. Use your tough times to learn and grow.
We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)
STOP AND THINK – What a man’s mind can create, man’s character can control. (Attributed to Thomas Edison, American inventor)
While recognizing that the human mind has almost unlimited creative capacity, we may not be certain that Edison’s observation about man’s character is accurate. How do you explain the wicked plans created by men with evil intent? It would be wise for us to look beyond human capabilities to discover how to control good character development.
The integrity of the upright guides them (Proverbs 11:3). Righteousness guards the person of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner (Proverbs 13:6)
STOP AND THINK – The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically… Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. (Martin Luther King Jr, 20th century civil rights leader)
Readin’, writin’, and ’rithmetic. Indeed, those are essential elements in the what of learning—some of the core material you really need to know. But from the earliest days of formal training, education was seen to be a lot more than mere book “larnin.’” The goal is useful application of information for a life of self-improvement and benefit to society.
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. (Proverbs 13:14)
STOP AND THINK – Integrity…does not mean sinless, but it does describe a person who by God’s grace sins less. (Sam Storms, American theologian)
Although God is perfect and wants His people to be perfect, it is clear from the Bible and the lives of biblical characters that perfection is the goal but not the present experience of true believers. Progress in holiness is the desired evidence of a true believer. When he falls, he gets up again and asks God for strength to improve in godliness.
For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again. (Proverbs 24:16)