Home / Power Blog / The Trap of “IF ONLY” Thinking (and how to bury it). POWER BLOG #21

The Trap of “IF ONLY” Thinking (and how to bury it). POWER BLOG #21 8

Ever thought that life is not fair? Specifically, something in YOUR LIFE? That thought has probably crossed all of our minds when faced with challenges or adversities. If we don’t dismiss those kinds of thoughts, choosing rather to dwell on them, we start down the path of “IF ONLY” thinking, which leads to bitterness and discontentment. Here’s a short list of IF ONLY, a.k.a, NOT FAIR thoughts that might be weighing you down:

  • If only I had been raised differently
  • If only I had different abilities
  • If only I was better looking, smarter, more athletic
  • If only I had married differently
  • If only I had chosen another line of work
  • If only I had more wealth
  • If only I had better health
  • If only, if only, if only…

Of course, I don’t know your specific challenges. I am simply encouraging you to take your own inventory, especially if you would admit you’re unhappy. Stop and consider if an IF ONLY or NOT FAIR thought is at the root.

For the record, some IF ONLY’s can be quite beneficial.  If only I buckle down and graduate…if only I get certified… If only I begin to eat healthier and exercise… This kind of thinking, when coupled with hard work and determination, can become a great blessing.

Yet for the unhealthy thoughts,  let me offer some IF ONLY’s that could actually come to the rescue:

If only you saw yourself as Jesus sees you. You’re His child whom He loves and died for, and He wants to have a relationship with you and guide you in this life.

  • Revelation 3:20 (NKJV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him (have a relationship) and he with Me.

If only you knew that all of your sins were paid for and forgiven at the cross.

  • 1 John 4:10 (NASB) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the payment) for our sins

If only you knew that by losing your life (which is to not worry about what you think is unfair), you would actually find your life (which is to enjoy living and be content right where God has you).

  • Matthew 16:25 (KJV) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Let me paraphrase that last, radical scripture. Whoever grips onto their own life, hyperfocusing on IF ONLY’s, will be losing their life, letting it slip away. But whoever will lose their life by living for God, entering into a relationship with Jesus, and being grateful for all the blessings they already possess, they will be finding their life, and will be living and loving it!

In closing, join me in asking yourself these IF ONLY thoughts:

  • If only I knew God more and saw myself as Jesus sees me.
  • If only I knew that my sins were already paid for.
  • If only I knew that to lose my life in Him is to find my life.

Those three IF ONLY’s can really help us realize that yes, life truly isn’t fair, because in reality, we are very blessed, beyond what we can comprehend!

Join me in burying negative IF ONLY’s and instead, draw close to Jesus. Learn how He thinks about you and realize what He has already done for you. Grab your shovel!


P.S. Here is a video version of this blog:

Phil Henry is a financial adviser and also an ordained minister who founded and produces short videos and blogs at Phil Henry Power Gospel.  

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