Find the Good Stuff

Far too many folks suffer from that most contagious of all diseases. I call it the “If Only” Syndrome. The germs of discontent can infect a single host and then overtake an entire community, affecting every aspect of life—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The following is a list of some statements said by those caught in the “If Only” Syndrome:

If only I had more money . . .

If only I could make better grades . . .

If only we owned a nicer home . . .

If only we hadn’t made that bad investment . . .

If only I hadn’t come from such a bad background . . .

If only she had stayed married to me . . .

If only our pastor were a stronger preacher . . .

If only my child were able to walk . . .

If only we could have children . . .

If only we didn’t have children . . .

If only the business had succeeded . . .

If only my husband hadn’t died so young . . .

If only I’d said no to drugs . . .

If only they had given me a break . . .

If only I hadn’t had that accident . . .

If only we could get back on our feet financially . . .

If only he would ask me out . . .

If only people would accept me as I am . . .

If only my folks hadn’t divorced . . .

If only I had more friends . . .

The list could stretch for pages. Woven into the fabric of all those wistful complaints is a sigh rooted in the daily grind of discontentment. Taken far enough, the “If Only” Syndrome results in self-pity, one of the most distasteful and repulsive of all attitudes. Discontentment is one of those daily grinds that forces others to listen to our woes—but not for long! Discontented souls soon become lonely, isolated souls.

As a wise man once said, “You usually find what you go looking for.” So, the question of the day is, what are you looking for? Reasons to celebrate the goodness of God, or reasons to cry, “Woe is me!”

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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