I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Phil. 4:11

Have you ever had the thought… If only __________, then I will be happy? If only _________, then I will be content. For some of you, it might read something like this… If only I had a boyfriend, then my life would be great. Or… If only I were popular, then my life would be easier. Or… if only I were prettier, then I would be happy. Or… if only I were:

  • More athletic
  • Smarter
  • Taller
  • Thinner
  • More talented
  • Richer
  • Had more clothes
  • From a better family

What is your IF ONLY?

I once heard a story about a boy with no feet. He thought, if only I had feet, I would be happy. The same boy with feet was only happy for a little while. He thought, if only I had shoes, I would be happier. I could walk around so much easier and my feet wouldn’t hurt. But after a while, that wasn’t good enough. He thought to himself, if only I had a bicycle, then I could get around even faster. But he saw a guy with a car and he wanted that! Two cars and he wanted that! If we are looking to our IF ONLY’s to make us happy, there will never be an end to what we want!

I have found that I am least content when I am comparing myself to others and what I have or don’t have! Comparison can be described as holding ourselves up against some standard that God did not intend for us to have. When I compare, I begin striving for, working toward or struggling to maintain something that I was not meant to have! Teddy Roosevelt expressed it this way, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

The strategy of comparison is to get us to distrust God and to be disappointed where we are. And that is exactly what happens. We focus on what we don’t have and become disappointed/discontent where we are. We start to believe that God doesn’t know what is best for us.

Whatever you find yourself desiring more than God; whatever is your IF ONLY… that thing, or things or person will give you everything it can, but nothing more. Not only will it not satisfy you, but it will ultimately disappoint you.

When we begin to truly believe that God knows what is best for us and we learn to rest in Him, it is then and only then, that we will be truly content.

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