“IF ONLY” – regrets, self recriminations or “in spite of” opportunities

“IF ONLY…..” What sad words! I’ve heard them many times, expressing REGRET or SELF RECRIMINATIONS especially at funerals.
“If only I had listened to him, he might still be alive” –
“If only I’d told her I was sorry before she died” –
“If only. . .”

If only

Defeated by an "If only . . ."

Then again, “If only” is often used an EXCUSE – as in this true account . . .

A man had a garden which could have been beautiful, but he had a problem. An immense boulder was deeply embedded. He tried to blast it out but only shattered the windows. He refused to work on the rest of the garden while that eyesore remained, so he continued to use one harsh measure after another to remove it, but all without success. He bitterly bemoaned his lot.

A few years later he died from worry and frustration, complaining that “if only” he had been able to remove that boulder, he could have had the most beautiful garden in the district.

His nephew inherited the house and moved in. He perceived the hopelessness of removing the boulder, so he converted it into a rockery, covered with frescoes, flowers and ferns. The eyesore became the centrepiece and the biggest attraction of the magnificent garden.

So sad … I’ve also heard “If only” as an EXCUSE many times from many people and I have to admit using it myself.

“If only I could be free of this problem, I could be different!”
“If only I’d had parents who cared, I’d be different today”
“If only I’d had more opportunities …”
“If only I had more spare time…”
“If only I’d studied harder at school”
“If only I didn’t have this bad back”
“If only I’d married a better man”
“If only I’d invested that lottery win instead of wasting it”

How often do we face our problems with “If only . . .”?

Are you shackled to your “If only. . .”

shackled by an "If only"

Or have you changed an “if only” to an “IN SPITE OF” and used it as an OPPORTUNITY?


Use an "If only" as an opportunity

Some apt sayings:

# Problems can make you soar above – or just plain sore!
# Where there are no trials – there are no triumphs
# When life hands you a lemon – make lemonade!

# He who is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else.

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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2 Responses to “IF ONLY” – regrets, self recriminations or “in spite of” opportunities

  1. Freedomborn says:

    Hi April, I believe there is a difference between regrets and self recriminations, although you may have a different name for what I call regrets, King David, Peter and Paul and others in the Scriptures had regrets they had sorrow for the wrong they had done. Regrets can keep us from making the same mistakes again and they can keep us humble, who are we to think we are better then others it’s by grace alone that we have been saved, we should never take lightly the hurt we have caused God, others and ourselves, how we treat others God tells us is how we are treating Him.

    But as you said April we don’t keep heaping abuse on ourselves or live in defeat. Jesus carried our shame on the cross and He washes us clean from our past sins and when we are convicted by the Spirit we also do not have a guilty conscience, but to me regret means I’m not happy clappy about sinfulness both mine and others, past , present or in the future.

    Christian Love Anne


    • Freedomborn says:

      Sorry about the name change Angela, I have been in touch with April before and called her by the wrong name as well, please forgive me, peoples names are important they are birth given. I meant to ask you have you been ill, I haven’t heard from you for awhile and no new posts, if so I hope your recovering well.

      Take Care in Jesus Christian Love Anne.


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