A Moment To Praise 6.15.20

Joyce Lochinger

Joyce Lochinger, Gravel Hill Worship Leader

Stop!

How many times have you heard the phrases: “Just Stop!” or “Stop It!”? These phrases are usually said with a healthy amount of loudness and exasperation.

I have to admit that when our kids were little, we said these two phrases quite a few times! When arguments would erupt or some other form of unacceptable behavior would occur, either of these phrases would freely come out of our mouths. I didn’t like the idea of frequently sounding upset with my kids, so I would read books and articles on “How To Change Your Child’s Behavior“ and would try out the concepts that each author presented. However, true change in our method happened when I came across an article.

This particular piece discussed the possibility of a child being a visual learner and needing some way to physically see the change that should be made. I went on to read that if you ask your child to envision a stop sign in their head when they feel the need to behave a way that they know is improper, sometimes it helps.

Knowledge In Action

Armed with my new information, I approached our youngest, who always liked to push the envelope. I explained to her that I would be telling her to “put up the stop sign” in her mind when I saw attitude, mouthy language, or tension arising. It then became her job to sit back and imagine a stop sign in her mind. At this point, she was to decide whether what she was about to do made good sense, or if she should move on to something else before she got herself into a jam.

It took a while, but for her at 4 years old, our new method worked like a charm most days! Eventually, she didn’t need the reminders and she matured past the mouthy outbursts and the temper tantrums. Well…for the most part 🙂

A Moment To Praise 6.15.20 in Scripture

I also feel like this “stop sign” practice is a good example of what this scripture from Psalm means as well:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+141%3A3&version=ESV

Lately, I feel like I need to use this technique when I watch the news, look at social media, or simply try to navigate the world. I think about times when I should have guarded my mouth more closely. Have you ever wished that you had put up the stop sign on your own outspoken thoughts that may have hurt someone? Words that may have caused a friendship to be lost? Maybe you could have put the stop sign up to stop using the harsh tone you took with someone because you were having a bad day. Maybe you could have reserved the judgment or know-it-all attitude that you dished out toward someone who doesn’t believe like you do.

As I have gotten older, I realize there are a lot of things I could say to people that I decide not to. I put up the stop sign. My differing opinion is not more important than the relationship of a friend. My thoughts are not the only right way to think about things. Your preferences are just that, yours, and mine are mine. None of these things are more important than the people we are in Christ and the people of Christ that we portray to the world.

Stop Sign Theory

That being said, try to give the “stop sign” theory a try this week. When you’re on Facebook or in conversation with someone and you see or hear a differing opinion from your own, try putting up the mental stop sign. I guarantee that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice this concept. In fact, it is quite refreshing to actually read or hear someone else’s thoughts and not feel the compulsion to be argumentative or set someone’s thinking straight with your knowledge. It can be a very freeing exercise. And it shows confidence in your feelings and in yourself.

If you feel a strong need to get your thoughts out there, then let’s make them thoughts of praise to our Almighty Maker. Let us constantly have praise on our lips. Let us acknowledge and share the Good News of Christ. We should proclaim all of the good He has done for us; He died for all and under Him, we all are saved!

A Moment To Praise 6.15.20 in Song

https://youtu.be/hDSoMLnUwJA

By the way, my youngest is now 24 years old and living on her own, but here’s what she recently said.

“Mom, I had to put up the stop sign the other day before I got myself into trouble!”

I just laughed because truthfully, I thought that she had forgotten that exercise from her youth.  Even so, it shows that you’re never too old to guard your tongue.

It keeps you out of trouble, it helps to preserve relationships, and it shows the true depths of what’s in your heart. You should hold onto God’s love, not ego, not conceit, and not judgment on your brothers and sisters.

I hope you have a great week. God Bless…and for goodness’ sake…stop! 🙂