Pause Points

A Pause Point is where you deliberately call a time out to think about what you are about to say or do before you say it or do it.

OK, here we go—seven Pause Point questions to ask before you speak and seven to ask before you act.

Pause Point Questions Before You Speak

Mom told you to think before you speak, right?

Digital media has added another layer to speech. James said the tongue is like a fire. Today so is the keyboard. There are no do-overs; once you’ve said it or written it you can’t reel in back in. So before you text, tweet, post on Facebook, or fire off that email, take a Pause Point break.

You’ve been hurt, offended, mistreated, and you’re hotter’n a microwave. You’re not going to take it anymore; you’re going to give the jerk a piece of your mind.

Before you do, punch the pause button and measure what you’re about to say by one or more of the following Pause Point questions.

•  Is this a loving thing to say?
“Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor 16:14).

•  Is this a godly thing to say?
“May the words of my mouth . . . be pleasing in your sight, O Lord” (Ps 19:14).

•  Is this an honest thing to say?
“Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk deviously” (Prv 4:24).

•  Is this a kind thing to say?
“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue . . . your religion is worthless” (Jas 1:26).

•  Is this a helpful thing to say?
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up” (Eph 4:29).

•  Is this a gracious thing to say?
“Let your speech always be gracious” (Eph 4:6).

•  Is this a timely thing to say?
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (Jas 1:19).

Pause Point Questions Before You Act

You’re facing a “Do I?” or “Don’t I?” decision. It may be about spending, temptation, habit, gratification, or dealing with another person.

Put your finger on the pause button—take a breather and ask the appropriate Pause Point question or questions from the list below before pulling the trigger.

•  Is this the right thing to do?
“Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil 1:27).

•  Is this a wise use of my time and resources?
“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have” (Ps 90:12).

•  Is this going to move me in the wrong direction?
“Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thes 5:22).

•  Is this going to be something I will regret?
“Say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions . . . live self-controlled, upright and godly lives” (Ti 2:12).

•  Is this going to damage my reputation?
“A good reputation and respect are worth much more than silver and gold” (Prv 22:1).

•  Is this going to affect anyone else?
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor” (Rom 13:10).

•  Is this something my Father will approve?
“Live the kind of life that honors and pleases the Lord in every way” (Col 1:10).

Asking Pause Point questions will help you decide whether to act, react, or refrain.

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