Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: May 29, 2023


The iceberg represents your leadership. (Southeastern University)

The statement continues, “The10% above the water is your skill. The 90% below the water is your character. It’s what’s below the water that sinks the ship.”  It’s rather frightening, isn’t it? The citation continues, “Your leadership ability has the potential to carry you further than your character can sustain you.” Your integrity must be the driving force in the exercise of your skill.

People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed. The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity. (Proverbs 10:9; 11:20)  

Stop & Think: May 28, 2023

Do It Now!

You may regret that you didn’t start sooner. But that doesn’t stop you from starting today. (Kenneth J. Brown, author)

Are these some of your regrets: “I wish I had taken piano lessons when I was a kid.” Or “If only I had started dieting last year.” You can probably think of several others. Remember, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.” The lesson is obvious. You can’t start any sooner than today, so let’s get to it. This is a good day to plant a tree!

Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love (Hosea 10:12).

Stop & Think: May 27, 2023

Speaking and Living

An ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching. (Gandhi, 19-20th century Indian political ethicist)

The Italian mystic, Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” When we were kids, we said it this way, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s the way we live, more than our words that show people who we are and what we stand for. Be sure that what you say accurately reflects who you are.

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone . . . Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (Colossians 4:6; Hebrews 10:24)

Stop & Think: May 26, 2023

To Speak or Not to Speak

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place but leave unsaid the wrong thing. (Benjamin Franklin)

We sometimes do miss an opportunity to say the right thing at the right time. We realize just a moment or so later, “I should have said …” And there are probably just as many times that we have thought a little too late, “I wish I hadn’t said …” The more careful we are about what and when we say things, the more likely we are to encourage others.

Those who control their tongue will have a long life . . . For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. (Proverbs 13:3; James 3:1)

Stop & Think: May 25, 2023


What do you think would happen if you and I spent less time focusing on what we want and more on what someone else might need? (Retired pastor)

It’s a “Me First” society. “I’ll do it my way” could be our generational anthem. It begins in childhood with “It’s MY toy” and “Let ME go first.” Those are cries that parents hear soon after their children learn to talk. So, it’s really difficult for parents and teachers to help young people learn to share and seek the welfare of others before their own. The Bible offers strong counsel.

Don’t be selfish . . .  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (Philippians 2:3-4).

Stop & Think: May 24, 2023

Just Do It!

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. (James Bryan Conant, late educator)

We probably don’t often think of turtles as examples to follow, although the legend of the tortoise and the hare offers a powerful example of persistence. Conant isn’t saying don’t try to make progress but rather, move ahead slowly, making sure you know what your goal is and how you’re going to reach it. We should count the cost and plan ahead as well as we can.

But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? (Luke 14:28)

Stop & Think: May 23, 2023


Human salvation can be found neither in the profusion of material goods nor in merely making money. (Alexander (Solzhenitsyn, Russian author)

It would seem that many don’t accept the noted Russian writer’s comment. Overloaded garages and storage units reflect the idea that whoever has the most wins. Reports of some very wealthy people who have gone down in disgrace would indicate that financial gain isn’t the answer either. Again, the Bible has the answer.

I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation (Psalm 62:1-2)

Stop & Think: May 22, 2023

Failure 2

I don’t know the key to success, but I do know the key to failure is trying to please everyone. (TV comedian)

In time we all face the dilemma of differing expectations that others have for us. Politicians, in particular, quickly discover that some of their supporters make demands that they cannot pursue in good conscience. Giving in may win an election, but it could hardly be called success from the perspective of integrity and character. Losing an election is far better than losing your soul.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Matthew 16:26)

Stop & Think: May 21, 2023

Failure 1

Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s part of success. (Arianna Huffington, Greek American author)

Huffington wrote: “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes.” Hasn’t that been the experience of us all? It’s encouraging to know that famous inventors often fail dozens of times before they create something that is useful and efficient. Don’t be discouraged when you fail; it’s part of your success.

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again (Proverbs 24:16)

Stop & Think: May 20, 2023


We must not allow the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery. (H G Wells, 19th-20th English century writer)

Whether it’s the office calendar on our desk or the digital datebooks on our phone and computer, they do seem to have significant control of our lives. We can no longer count on our memory or a simple wristwatch to remind us of our schedule. For many, life has become so complicated that digital calendars with alarms are almost a necessity. Oh, for a simpler lifestyle of appreciation!

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands (1 Thessalonians 4:11).

Stop & Think: May 19, 2023


If you choose bad companions no one will believe that you are anything but bad yourself. (Aesop’s Fables)

A fable is sometimes a legend or a story that may or may not be true. In this case, there is little doubt that this axiom is altogether true. How many times have we judged someone because of the people they associate with? Two lessons: 1) Don’t judge before you have all the facts; 2) it is a good warning because our own character may be judged by this same standard.

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. (Matthew 7:1-2)

Stop & Think: May 18, 2023


What we do when defeat stares us in the face is the real touchstone of character. (Orison Swett Marden, 19th-20th century American author)

When we receive a promotion at work or win a sports trophy, it’s natural to feel good about ourselves and proud about the honor. But what do people see when the outcome isn’t so good? That’s when we’re put to the test. We must develop the strength of character that is positive in both good and bad circumstances.

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ (Philppians 1:11).