STOP AND THINK – Build your dreams, or someone will hire you to build theirs. (Tony Gaskins, motivational speaker)
Many people have dreams, ideas for inventions or ways to improve life. For those who pursue their dreams, there may be disappointments, but there will also be satisfaction in following the dream. As Gaskins suggests, if you don’t chase after your vision, someone else will, and you may find yourself working on their dream, rather than yours.
“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you . . . plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11)
STOP AND THINK – When trouble has smitten us, a spirit of thanksgiving is a soothing antiseptic. (Clinton C. Cox)
This is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and there is much for most Americans to be thankful for. But some are facing difficulties of one kind or another. It’s hard to be thankful when you’re hurting, but as Cox suggests, an attitude of gratitude does go a long way to raising one’s spirits. Find some reason today to thank God, and you will feel better.
Admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs, . . . singing to God with gratitude in your hearts (Colossians 3:16).
STOP AND THINK – Inspiration followed by motivation followed by perspiration improves any life. (Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and radio commentator)
In his commentary Thomas’ statement was in contrast to the philosophy that tends to provide people’s needs without requiring much on their part. Whether it’s parents, educators, or politicians, Thomas’ counsel seems to be verified by life’s experiences. We usually get out of a project (or life) what we put into it. Intentional effort is vital.
The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
STOP AND THINK – You are the only person on earth who can use your ability. (Zig Ziglar, late motivational speaker)
Sometimes our abilities are hidden because we may think we’re not gifted in any particular area. Everyone, however, has something of value to contribute to society and, as Ziglar suggests, he or she is the only one who can exercise that gift. We must use our talents for the benefit of others and encourage everyone to discover and exercise his talent, too.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. (Romans 12:6). Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others (1 Peter 4:10).
STOP AND THINK – Crises [break] down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place. (Susan Taylor, editor, writer, and journalist)
Taylor notes “In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change.” Whether a particular calamity is the result of a natural disaster or of some life circumstance, it often produces careful evaluation and planning to handle it. The crisis, then, may result in a very positive and beneficial outcome.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17).
STOP AND THINK – Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides. (Rob Lowe, movie and TV actor)
That was Lowe’s response when his son, about to begin his college days, said, “None of the other kids look scared at all.” You may think you’re the only one who has doubts and fears. Others may seem to be confident in their outward appearance. In reality, they may be just as fearful as you are, so don’t be controlled by what you think you see in other people.
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe (Proverbs 29:25).
I’m more interested in what I discover than what I invent. (Paul Simon, singer, song-writer)
Simon’s comment suggests something about the personality of creative people. Certainly, they are proud of what they produce, whether it’s music, art, or a device of some kind. They seem to recognize that there is a lot more to learn, to discover, and build upon. Pride in one’s work is one thing; humility to recognize there is still more to discover is another.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).
STOP AND THINK – We read to know that we are not alone. (C. S. Lewis, British scholar and Christian apologist)
Lewis did not say, “We need to know that we are not alone” although he might very well agree to that. He is encouraging his students to read. When he wrote, he could not have imagined the Internet and the great availability of information outside of books. Yet, it is in reading good books that we discover a world in which we are an integral part.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone (Romans 14:7).
STOP AND THINK – It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. (Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century clergyman)
Have you ever faced that dilemma, whether to talk to a friend about his problem? If you’re concerned about damaging that relationship, consider the further word of Beecher, “To love a man so much that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship” (slightly paraphrased).
Wounds from a friend can be trusted (Proverbs 27:6). If someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently (Galatians 6:1).
STOP AND THINK – In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. (attributed to Saint Augustine)
Though this expression is often used with regard to theological disagreements, it is applicable to any situation where there are disagreements among people who are living or working together. As James Emery White, suggests, to get along we need to “agree to disagree, agreeably.” Don’t let pride destroy amicable relationships.
I appeal to you . . . that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you (1 Corinthians 1:10).