I read of two older men who were talking about their health problems. “My new doctor doesn’t just treat the symptoms, he treats both the mind and the body.” “Hmmm,” the second man grunted, thought, for a moment, then asked, “Does he give a discount if the mind is already gone?” This story makes me laugh. Has anyone ever asked you if you’ve lost your mind? Or have you asked the question of yourself: “What was I thinking?” When asked these questions, the answer usually reverts back to how we felt at the time…Do any of the following phrases hit a sour note within you?
“They hurt my feelings!” “She embarrassed me.” “He did that on purpose, just to get back at me!” “I get no respect!” “I work just as hard as he does, why didn’t I get the promotion?” “He is so mean to me!” “She doesn’t consider what others want, she is only looking out for herself.”
Did you notice the common thread throughout each phrase? Words like – me, my, I, feelings, and want?Sounds pretty self-centered doesn’t it? I totally understand what it’s like to experience the pain of deep rooted hurts. I do not take these things lightly when they happen to me or someone near and dear to me. What I have discovered, however, is that when I step back from the situation, and look beyond the moment, I avoid regrets. When I “Stop and Think”, I realize that most of the time, it wasn’t about me anyway. We live in a society where we are taught to look out for ourselves, and to do whatever it takes to make ourselves look good. If we’re not careful, we all get caught up in the “me” cycle, and fail to consider the long term outcome of our actions.
I have learned a better way to deal with such things. I still fall off the wagon from time to time, but luckily, do-overs are allowed! Here’s what I do and I encourage you do this too….Before you say something you will regret, or do something irrational, like slashing tires, knocking a hole in the wall, fighting in front of the kids, or damage a relationship beyond repair – do this instead! Shut up and Pray! I know that sounds so simple, but in the heat of the moment, it can be the hardest thing to do. It really works. When you pray, you need to set your feelings aside, and ask God to show you how He wants you to respond.
I would venture to say that the times when you’ve lost your mind and have done something stupid, you had not taken time to pray.
Practice makes perfect! Next time something begins to fester, and you feel your blood begin to boil, “Stop and Think”, Shut up and Pray, and you’ll be amazed at the results!
It takes a strong person to walk away from a fight. It takes a strong person to set their feelings aside. It takes a strong person to love unconditionally. With God’s help, you can be that person!
Proverbs 21:23 If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble.
Proverbs 17:27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.
Stop and Think! You’ll be glad you did!!