Jason B. Ladd

Ask the Questions. Embrace the Answers. Make the Leap.

The 1 Big Lie That’s Stressing You Out

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There is one big lie that’s stressing you out, and you probably started believing it early on. When I was in grade school, I couldn’t wait to learn cursive. There was something about the rapid scrawl of adult penmanship that blew my mind. I would sometimes scribble like a seismograph pretending I had already mastered the skill.

The Lie

After learning cursive, it lost its luster. I still don’t connect my lowercase “a”s at the top–they are a bridge too far, and “z”s frighten me.

Fast forward to a yard full of grass and a boy eager for responsibility. I asked my dad if he would let me mow the lawn for the first time. He agreed and I was excited. I must have shredded at least three sprinklers, but I got the job done. Shortly thereafter, it was just another chore.

But when you’re a kid, it seems like adults are having all the fun.

High school and college present more scenarios with endless opportunities and limited time. Whether it’s sports, music, or informal membership in the “in” club, it can seem like someone else is having all the fun.

Finally, in adulthood, if you’re not keeping up with the Joneses, following the trends, or staying out late on the weekends, it can seem like you’re missing out.

Much of our angst in life is caused by one big lie:

“You’re missing out on all the fun.”

Sometimes this is lie spoken by those who would like you on the bandwagon. Other times we tell it to ourselves. But the bandwagon isn’t always as it appears.

The Reality

Cursive wasn’t all is was cracked up to be, and mowing lawns is work.

Here is the reality about the Joneses:

  • They’re plagued with debt.
  • They are enslaved by trends.
  • Their late nights have come at a cost.

Believing the big lie makes you love a little bit less. It drains you of your joy and keeps you from having peace.

Believing the big lie creates an impatience which leads you to lose your self-control.

Believing the big lie can make you less kind to those walking their own path. It can lead you down a path away from goodness.

Believing the big lie can drive you to an aggressive pursuit of happiness that you will never attain. And while you faithfully give chase, your faithfulness will wane.

This is not good. While we think we are missing out on one thing, we are actually missing out on something else.

Missing Out on Contentedness

The fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (NIV).

The fruit of the Spirit is difficult to harvest if you’re buying into the big lie. It is enjoyed alongside a spirit of contentedness.

  • John the Baptist taught those coming to be baptized how to be content in Luke Chapter 3.
  • Paul preaches contentedness versus the love of money in 1 Timothy Chapter 6.
  • We are reminded to be content in Hebrews Chapter 13.

And Paul writes in his epistle to the Philippians:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13, NIV).

We need to stop squirming around in search of greener grass. We need to stop trying to keep up with someone else’s life. You’re not missing out on all the fun; you’re missing out on your own life.

If green grass is in your future, God will lead you there, and he will take you down your own path.

The path could very well be a dirt road, and all Marines know “if it ain’t rainin’, it ain’t trainin’.” When it pours, we must learn how to be content in the mud.

We need to stop and listen to the voice speaking through the Psalmist:

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NIV).

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Photo credit: woodleywonderworks / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

8 Replies

  1. Susan Irene Fox

    Wise words as usual, Jason. It’s never our circumstances that lead to contentment, but our relationship with and trust in God. If we pray for God to change our circumstances instead of praying for Him to change us, we will always chase contentment.

  2. Very well written Jason and filled with good common sense! I know I have been guilty many times of feeling discontent with my circumstances and wishing to have what others have when I should have been thanking God for what I did have and letting him lead me in His plan for my life and for my contentment.

    1. Feeling the same right now. Why is it so hard to live out what I already know to be true? Sometimes being content is harder than it sounds.

      1. Yes it is because despite wht we know to be true, Jason, we are also human and have to deal with that human condition we were born with. God never told us it would be easy!

  3. stockdalewolfe

    A great post. We search for contentment and all the while have the ingredients for it in our possession. Awhile back you wrote me thanking me for my comments and it was very kind of you. So sorry I am not getting back to you till now– life intervened. Just wanted to say it is I who should be thanking YOU!

  4. Great post!!

    Love this part:

    “If green grass is in your future, God will lead you there, and he will take you down your own path.

    The path could very well be a dirt road, and all Marines know “if it
    ain’t rainin’, it ain’t trainin’.” When it pours, we must learn how to
    be content in the mud.”