bENCOURAGEd to: Stop & Go!

Tuesday's Tip to bENCOURAGEd...

Moving forward helps us to bENCOURAGEd Today, but sometimes stopping helps us get further than if we keep going. Quitting, idling, or shutting down are definite enemies to development, but I am learning that putting on the brakes helps us make the best of situations.  For a very productive person stopping could seem like defeat.  To a breezy personality one could be threatened by a rally call to get up and go. Thank God that He guides us when to pause or when to press even during challenging times like we are facing today.

What is discernment?

The definitions can pile high, but to keep it simple discernment is knowing when to stop and when to go.  Should I keep talking or shut up?  Is it beneficial to continue a project or pause and do more research?  Do I keep writing or take a rest?  Is it time to take action or continue in prayer?  The interesting thing is when the words "Stop and Go!" came to me - I saw them in this punctuation.  Both words were in capital letters, stop came first and "Go!" was with an exclamation.  I believe this was for good reason.  We should never be lazy, but when we stop - either by our choice or forced on us through circumstances, it is a great time to evaluate so that when it is time to "Go!", we can do it with excitement and passion.

Developing discernment is kind of like learning to drive a standard automobile.  Growing up in Kansas it is probably of no surprise that some of my first driving experiences were in an old wheat truck.  The stick shift was about as long as I was tall.  Finding the next gear was a workout.  There was definitely no "grace to my neck" as my body jerked back and forth.  I never knew a vehicle could bounce so much while driving on the flat plains of rural Kansas. Moving from a rusty old farm truck to a modern import standard pick-up I began to develop the skills of switching from first to second and beyond.  The transition became more fluent the more I practiced. 

As most of the world has been forced to stop right now due to the Coronavirus, this is a great opportunity to practice "Stop and Go!" in our lives - to develop the skill of discernment. When we know when to "Stop and Go!" conversations are more enjoyable, work is more productive, and answers to decisions come with clarity.

How do we apply “Stop and Go!” in our lives?

  1. Pray - Prayer helps us connect to God’s plans for our lives. This also helps us get our minds off of

ourselves giving us more clarity. Here are some great Scriptures on discernment:

  • Proverbs 1:1-5

  • Proverbs 3:5-6

  • James 1:5

2. Read - Reading books on how to prioritize helps us discern what is most important and where to put our focus. Here are some of my favorites:

~ Intentional Living - Choosing a Life that Matters, by John Maxwell

~ Wisdom 365 - A Daily Dose of Wisdom, by John Frease

I am currently reading Start with People, by Brian Dixon. This book is filled with encouragement on why it is important to prioritize people in business and stories of how and why this works.

3. Meet - Meeting with ourselves allows us to take charge over our movements in an intentional way. The single most important productivity tip I know is to prioritize meeting with yourself. I call this Review/Preview. Check out the video below to better understand this powerful productivity tip.

Whether it is our mouths or our movements we can all use discernment, especially in these challenging times. Slamming on brakes or gunning it can become "exhausting", but knowing ahead of time when to "Stop and Go!"will help us be Inspired, be Productive, be Fulfilled ~ bENCOURAGEd Today!

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