Monday, March 27, 2017

If Only...Then I'd Be Happy

Last week I asked some of my middle school friends to complete the following sentence and write down their answers anonymously on a piece of paper. Their responses are below:

If only...then I'd be happy.
  1. If only my family had more money, then I would be happy.
  2. If only I had true friends, then I would be happy.
  3. If only I could be smarter, then I would be happy.
  4. If only I could be faster, then I would be happy.
  5. If only I had more time, then I would be happy.
  6. If only I had a dance studio in my house, then I would be happy.
  7. If only I was better at soccer, then I would be happy.
  8. If only I got better grades, then I would be happy.
  9. If only my parents lived together, then I would be happy.
  10. If only I could be prettier, then I would be happy.
  11. If only I could be more athletic, then I would be happy.
  12. If only I could be more popular, then I would be happy.
  13. If only I could be more loved, then I would be happy.
  14. If only I could be a better person, then I would be happy.
  15. If only I could have a better relationship with God, then I would be happy.
  16. If only I was doing what I loved, then I would be happy.
  17. If only I had the love of Christ in my heart, then I would be happy.
  18. If only more people liked me, then I would be happy.
  19. If only I was better, then I would be happy.
  20. If only I knew how to make everyone happy, then I would be happy.

Matthew 5:1-12 (The Message)

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said: 

“You’re blessed (happy) when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.


“You’re blessed (happy) when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed (happy) when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed (happy) when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed (happy) when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed (happy) when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed (happy) when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

“You’re blessed (happy) when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.||

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