All of us have looked at things in our past, or looked at our present situation and have expressed an “If only.”
- If only I hadn't said that.
- If only I hadn't had that accident.
- If only I had a better job.
- If only I had more friends.
- If only I had a bigger house.
- If only I earned more money.
The list is endless. The “If only” implies that things would have been different or even better if only we had said, or done, or had something different. It also is a reflection of being dissatisfied with the present. Who hasn't struggled with present dissatisfaction that hasn’t caused us to blame something of our situation now, or blame something in our past? If taken far enough, it can lead us to the point of self-pity or discouragement. Discontentment can certainly lead us to have discouraging feelings that refuse to go away.
When such feelings linger, you may begin to feel bad about yourself as a person and question your own value. You may begin to believe that your situation and future will never get any better. However, you must realize that a person is not to be controlled by the past, or even the present circumstances, but as a Christian you can look toward the future. Someone can lose a race if he keeps looking back. Too many Christians are shackled by regrets (If only) of the past, trying to run life’s race looking backward. Or, you may be stuck in the present situation with no vision for the future. We can be encouraged by the writer of the book of Hebrews, “. . . Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
- Say to yourself, “I am a person of value,” because of my faith in Christ Jesus.
- It’s OK to have good feelings about myself and my future.
- I know God cares about me, and there really are people who care about me too.