STOP AND THINK – I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. (Albert Einstein, late noted scientist)
We would do well to act on the truth of Einstein’s observation. I can never be something different or better than I am right now until I’m willing to learn, to change, and to grow. Just as we grow and change physically over time and with proper nutrition, so we must grow socially, intellectually, and relationally to become all we are meant to be.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4).
STOP AND THINK – The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails—but rather the one who moves on in spite of failure. (Charles Swindoll, minister and author)
Because the future is unknown, many are hesitant to try something new or to take an unknown path. No one likes to fail, but it’s important to learn that mistakes and failures are among life’s best teachers. It follows, then, that if we hope to accomplish something significant, we must plan carefully, move forward with courage, and learn from our mistakes.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:3).
STOP AND THINK – Share and enjoy your treasures instead of keeping them hidden away. (Robert Herskovitz)
Have you seen the TV program “Hoarders”? It’s amazing what some people keep as if it were valuable treasure. Others pack away their keepsakes, saving them for … who knows what? If something is of personal worth and value to you, it would likely interest someone else, too. So, share it. Then, both you and they can enjoy your treasure.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share (1 Timothy 6:18).
STOP AND THINK - When you forgive, anxiety gets better; depression gets better. You have more hope. (Everett Worthington, psychologist and professor)
Many people today seem to be anxious. And that often leads to depression. Worthington suggests that one of the causes of anxiety may be an unforgiving spirit. Someone has been hurt so deeply that he or she simply can’t get over it and can’t forgive the offender. Learning to forgive will relieve the anxiety, avoid depression, and restore lost hope.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:32).For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:14).
STOP AND THINK - If you are not ready today, you will be less ready tomorrow. (Publius Ovidius Naso [Ovid], 1st century B.C. Roman poet)
We often put off doing today what we think we’re not quite ready for. That’s a wise decision if you haven’t made proper preparations that will mean success is less likely. But, too often, it’s not the lack of preparation so much as the fear of inability or of failure that keeps us from moving on. Take courage, prepare, and work hard.
Anyone . . . must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need (Ephesians 4:28).
STOP AND THINK - The garden of the heart must be tended with great care. (William Wilberforce, 18th-19th English politician and anti-slavery leader)
Wilberforce understood that it’s what is inside a person that determines what he does. He also said, “Life is confusing. What was to be our highest pursuit is lost as our hearts and minds become consumed by lesser issues.” Outside influences can affect one’s heart and mind, so we need to recognize that what is essential is a heart of integrity.
As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man. (Proverbs 27:19)
STOP AND THINK – It is only utterly impossible until someone actually does it. (Kenneth J. Brown, author)
We sometimes face circumstances that seem impossible to overcome. But if we take a look at all the “things” around us that were once thought impossible, we should be encouraged to move forward expectantly. Iphones, computers, spacecraft—all of these were once only imagined, but they are realities today. Take hope. Attack your dreams with courage.
Jesus: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
STOP AND THINK – Pessimists need a good kick in the can’ts. (Church signboard)
Pessimists predict outcomes that are negative even though they might hope for the better. If things work out, they’re happy. If they don’t, they’ll content themselves in the fact that their predictions were right. But that’s not a happy way to live, is it? In spite of how we might feel, we need to take a positive outlook and work hard for better results.
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off (Proverbs 23:18).
STOP AND THINK – Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe, late American actress)
Monroe would probably not be thought of as a deep thinker or philosopher, but this statement is meaningful. Disappointments in life often leave us shattered and hopeless. What we had yearned for didn’t work out; out plans fell apart. But many could testify that such failure sometimes provided an opportunity to pursue and achieve something of even greater value.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
STOP AND THINK – You have never met a mere mortal…each person is either an immortal horror or everlasting splendor. (C. S. Lewis, 20th century British Christian apologist)
Everyone in the mass of people you may see is immortal. He or she may be a splendid example of the highest virtues of humanity. Others are tragic examples of lives poorly lived. But, in either case the Bible says they were created in the “image of God,” so they have inestimable value, and we should try to help them live as true children of God.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them (Genesis 1:27).