STOP AND THINK – Tough times never last, but tough people do! (Robert Schuller, late television preacher and author)
It’s often been said that “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” No matter how difficult the present problem, we can be glad that it will eventually pass. And Schuller also encourages us that when those tough difficulties come, “Problems are not stop signs; they are guidelines.” In those times, we need to determine to persevere and win.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Hebrews 10:36).
STOP AND THINK – Trust is the foundation of leadership. (John Maxwell, motivational speaker and author)
People may be attracted to public figures because of their music, acting, or athletic skill—or, perhaps, because of their persuasive speaking ability or their success in some public venue. But unless you find that person to be trustworthy, you will very likely look to someone else for leadership. Character and integrity are not built on skill or attractiveness but on trust.
Select capable men . . . who fear God, trustworthy men . . . and appoint them as officials (Exodus 18:21).
STOP AND THINK – A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. (Nelson Mandela, late president of South Africa)
After imprisonment for his anti-Apartheid protests, Mandela saw the collapse of that racist policy and was ultimately elected to the highest office in his country. He not only had the necessary intellect (head) for his grand achievements, but he also possessed the compassion (heart) that enabled him to succeed in the most difficult of circumstances.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3).
STOP AND THINK – Love may not make the world go around, but, I must admit it makes the ride worthwhile. (Sean Connery, Scottish actor)
Romantic novels, plays, and movies often picture love as the cure for all of our ills. If we can just find love, we can be successful, happy, and admired. Mankind was created to enjoy healthy relationships of mutual benefit, but too often love is selfish and self-centered. If on the other hand, it is focused on the benefit of the loved one, it will be like God’s love.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love (Ephesians 5:1).
STOP AND THINK Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life. (Dr. Herbert A. Otto, author)
There is no doubt that growth often involves a willingness to make changes in your habits and lifestyle. Many people are unwilling to take that risk, fearing failure and embarrassment. And Dr. Otto’s challenge to experiment with life could be dangerous. You need to have a healthy self image and a solid foundation of good behavior.
Teach them [God’s] decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave (Exodus 18:20).
STOP AND THINK: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. (Albert Einstein, noted theoretical scientist)
Bike riders know full well that the slower they pedal, the more difficult it is to stay upright. As Einstein suggests, life is a lot like that. Occasional rest stops are essential for good health, but inertia can make us useless. It’s so much easier to steer a moving vehicle than one at a dead stop. So, keep moving forward to maintain a healthy balance in life.
My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion (Proverbs 5:1-2).
STOP AND THINK: Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. (Benjamin Franklin, statesman, inventor, and author of practical maxims)
Most people try to say the right things at the right time, hoping to be helpful and engaged. As Franklin says, however, the greater problem is not saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Some people with a glib tongue, attempting to be humorous, sometimes say things that hurt. It’s hard work to guard one’s tongue, but it can save a lot of embarrassment.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless (James 1:26)
STOP AND THINK: Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th century essayist and poet)
Who can you trust? We’re living in a time when it seems difficult to find trustworthy leaders. But when you find a person in whom you can place unlimited trust, you can be assured of his reliability. And those you treat with respect and loyalty will most often demonstrate that your faith is well-placed as they ascend to great achievements.
The Lord . . . delights in people who are trustworthy (Proverbs 12:22). It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2).
STOP AND THINK: It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth. (John Locke, 17th century English philosopher)
It’s so easy to criticize—to see other’s errors and, too often, to point them out to anyone who will listen. How much better it would be to carefully direct the erring person to the truth with the purpose of helping him or her learn and grow. A personal, caring touch will not only correct an error, but very likely it will cement a good relationship.
Whoever heeds correction shows prudence. . . . The one who heeds correction gains understanding (Proverbs 15:5, 32).
We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough. (Helen Keller, lecturer & author))
We might think this is a gross overstatement until we realize who said it. Helen Keller suffered severe disabilities including being blind and deaf. But, with the persistent help of caring teachers, she learned and achieved far more than most fully abled people. Instead of grieving over our handicaps, we must be persistent and give our best in order to achieve.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him (James 1:12).