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One of the best decisions you can make when you’re feeling an impulse or facing a high-stakes dilemma is the decision to stop. Take a time-out. Pray for guidance. Sleep on it.  Get some godly wisdom from people you trust and picture the possible outcomes. Then, ask yourself, “Is this something I should stop completely?”

Most of us have good intentions or at least some kind of justification for the things we do. And yet so many of us seem surprised when we find ourselves a long way from the direction we want to go. The big changes in our lives—both negative and positive—rarely happen without a series of decisions piling on top of each other like never-ending dominoes.

Do you see how stopping can be one of the most productive things we do? When you stop to take stock of where you are and where you want to go, then you can decide how to move toward your destination.

What can you stop in order to move you closer to God’s divine direction?

Are you doing anything that’s taking you in a direction you don’t want to go (or that God doesn’t want you to go)? What do you need to stop completely? An addiction to social media, alcohol, porn, approval, or work? An unhealthy relationship? A judgmental attitude? What can you stop in order to move you closer to God’s divine direction? Treat each choice like it’s the next stepping-stone toward your destination.

When a behavior or relationship takes us in a direction we know is moving farther away from the story we want to tell, we need to pause not only to consider the consequences but also to choose to stop traveling in the wrong direction. You’ve probably heard the word “repent.” One of its literal meanings is to turn around. When you repent, you stop heading in one direction and return to God and His path for you.

In this sense, stopping actually means stepping in a new direction. You might need to step toward accountability, forgiveness, the right friends, or a new place to live.

Ask yourself:1. If I make the choice I’m considering, where could it take me?

2. What can I stop in order to move closer to God’s divine direction?