“If Only” Trap

John 11:21 

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here…

One of the biggest traps that prevents a person from seizing the opportunity before them, is living the “if only” excuse. We play the recording so often that many of us are not aware what we are even doing.

If only I married the other person. If only I majored in accounting rather than biology. If only I said yes. Or if only I said no. We not only glance at life in the rear-view mirror, but we drive the car looking behind us rather than what is right in front of us. Try it some day and see how difficult and dangerous it is.

John writes in his gospel the story of Lazarus’ death. Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary and all three loved by Jesus. When Jesus delayed his coming by two days, Lazarus died. When Jesus finally showed up, Martha threw the “if only” card at Jesus. Jesus didn’t catch it but simply focused on the current situation and again rose someone from the dead. Jesus didn’t accept the ‘if only” card.

When we play the “if only” card, we try to justify it. The fact is, if we could have, we would have. But, maybe because of responsibility at the time, or health, or incomplete facts, we made a decision. Most likely, if you had the same information today that you had back then, you would make the same choice.

The next time you catch yourself stating the “if only” excuse, slap your face. Then was then; today is today. Learn from yesterday, plan for tomorrow, but live for today. All you have today is in front of you. Ask God for the wisdom to seize the opportunities that lie in front of you today. Learn to distinguish God’s activity at the moment, and look for ways to join Him.

As you mature in your relationship with our Lord, you will find yourself using the ‘if only” card less and playing the “what’s next Lord” track more. As a child matures into an adult, you will likewise mature in your walk with Father-Son-Spirit. You will receive constant reassurances during the day that you are important to Him and learn to trust Him more and more each day.

Again, forget the “if only” trap. Instead, learn to pray and walk with the “what’s next Lord” attitude. You will be pleasantly surprised by the transformation.    

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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The Possibilities Are Endless When Nothing is Impossible

impossible 3Remember when you were young, overly optimistic with big dreams?  Nothing was impossible. We operated from a level of supreme self-confidence that whatever we chose to pursue in life, we truly believed we would achieve.  But then one day, we moved out of our sheltered world into the real world.  And the real world doesn’t always provide you with positive reinforcement in your struggles.  Didn’t you find yourself becoming more of a realist as you aged?  Some of your friends may even say leaning towards pessimism.  We met the world head on and the world won.  Eventually we found ourselves settling for smaller and smaller uneventful goals rather than our dream goals. Even then our frustrations slowly grew.  We became one unhappy camper as our supreme confidence in self soon disappeared.

If like me, it was probably around this time that you found yourself also in search for answers of life.  All the struggles, disappointments, and frustrations of life took their toll on our inner being that we finally admitted to God on our hands and knees in tears that we are not the man or woman we thought to be.  In repentance we confessed our sins, our vanity, and our uselessness.  We admitted defeat.  We surrendered. We cried out to God for help.

Since then though, life has changed.  No longer is our life built on self-confidence, but in faith of a loving God.  No longer do we set only small goals to pursue because of the lack of resources, but now all the resources of the Creator are at our disposal.  And no longer do we pursue self-centered goals, but goals that also make other people a winner.

The Holy Spirit has become the agent of change in our life. We quote scripture that Paul was inspired to write, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.”  As Jesus stated, “Nothing is impossible for God.”  No longer do we cut our goals down in size. But again, we don’t make them super large either.  The size of the goal becomes irrelevant.  When you realize Who ”God  is” and that He is very Generous, and He wants you to be His Partner in life, than you do not become overly concern about your goals and achievements.  Instead you focus on serving the living Creator and your goals almost seem to take care of themselves.

As a disciple of His, we have found that He is in charge, He is in control, and He makes the difference.  Achieving the goal becomes the easy part.  The more difficult part is maintaining a balance in life while choosing your life’s goals with the Kingdom always first on your mind.  That we have found is the more difficult challenge that confronts us.



Our Awesome Dad, thank you for revealing yourself to us. Thank you for revealing yourself and your way of life to us each and every day.  Thank you for being involved in our life.  Thank you for caring and loving us as you do.  Let everything we do, think, speak, and act be done in your glory.  Let everything from this life be lifted up in your glory and honor.  Whatever we attempt, whatever we pursue, and whatever we seek, let it bring glory and honor to you.

Help us to dream, to create, to let you live in us to the max.  Let our life exemplify you in every way.  Let not the goal enslave us, but let our heart, mind, and soul serve you.  Help make our goals worthy of your servant.  Whether we accomplish them or not, let our life always be a living sacrifice to you.  Let the goal stretch us in living a proactive faith in you.  Let the road and journey be covered in love, joy, and peace.  Help us keep these eyes focused on you in all our pursuits.  Never let the goal become larger than you.  Never let the goal become a priority over you.  Never let the goal become our master.  Let it always be said that this servant is a God-Made man, not a self-made man.  Let it always be said that this servant is a confident man in the Lord, not in himself.  Let it always be said that this servant is a child of God, and not a child of this world.  All glory and honor is yours in and through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Your Consultant & Coach for Christ-Centered
Business Owners & Executives

Dr. Mike

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God