Have you ever thought that life is not fair; specifically YOUR life is not fair? Most likely, we’ve all had those thoughts cross our minds when faced with some kind of challenge or adversity. However, to NOT dismiss those unfair thoughts and to instead, to dwell on them starts us down the path of “IF ONLY THINKING,” and that path only leads to bitterness and discontentment.
Let’s consider this subject for a few minutes and then perhaps, with a better perspective, we can bury those thoughts!
First, here’s a short list IF ONLY thoughts that could result from dwelling on what you might deem to be as NOT FAIR circumstances:
- 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…
Please know I’m not about to question or judge anyone’s specific challenges. I will encourage you to take your own inventory and if you are unhappy, consider if a “not fair- if only” thought is at the root.
Also for the record, some IF ONLY’s can be quite beneficial; …if only I had buckled down and graduated, if only I got certified, if only I ate healthier, etc. Those, when coupled with hard work, can become a great blessing.
Now as for the unhealthy ones, 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 with whom He wants to have a relationship and guide you in this life.
IF ONLY YOU KNEW 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 your life 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 radical scripture; “whoever grips onto their own life, hyper focusing on IF ONLY’s…will be losing their life, letting it slip away. But whoever will lose their life by living for God and being grateful for all of their blessings AND adversities, that one will be finding their life, living it and loving it.
In closing, hyper focus on these: if only we knew God more…if only we saw ourselves as Jesus sees us… if only we knew that our sins were already paid for…if only we knew that to lose our life in Him is to find it…those are IF ONLY’s that will make us realize that life is not fair because in reality, we are so blessed, beyond what we can comprehend.
So to think like this is to bury the IF ONLY’s that want to pull you down. Grab your shovel!
P.S. Here is a video version of this blog; The Trap of “If Only” Thinking; FIVE MINUTE POWER MESSAGE #86
Phil Henry is a financial adviser and also an ordained minister who founded and produces short videos and blogs at Phil Henry Power Gospel.