Monday, December 6, 2010


The “What If Game” –

Ever played it?

It’s really pretty simple. There are two versions of the game. Let me explain.

First of all, there’s the “Game of What If Past.”

Basically, you think about all the things you should have done, but didn’t.
Or think about all the things you did do, but shouldn’t have.

What if I had gone to a different college? Or gone to college? What if I’d married someone else? Or hadn’t gotten married? What if I’d taken that other job? What if I hadn’t made that investment? What if I hadn’t bought this house? What if I hadn’t had that relationship? What if I hadn’t made that choice? What if I’d done this instead?

You get the idea.

The word “should” is really important in this version of the game. I looked up the word “SHOULD” in Sharon’s Acrostic Dictionary:

S tubbornly
H olding
O n
U ntil
L iving in
D efeat

The other version is the “Game of What If Future.”

Basically, you think about all the things that could happen.

What if I lose my job? What if I lose my house? What if I get cancer? What if my spouse leaves me? What if I never get married? What if I never find that ideal job? What if I do, and it isn’t great? What if my car breaks down? What if I get hurt? What if my plans, dreams, goals don’t work out?

The word “could” is really important in this game. I looked up the word “COULD” in Sharon’s Acrostic Dictionary:

C oncentrating
O n
U ncertainty
L iving in
D efeat

Living in Defeat.

That’s the key objective of the “What If” Game. The rules are simple:

1) Always think (obsess) about things you cannot change and/or have
no control over.
2) Allow yourself to be consumed with this miry thinking.
3) Keep playing until you have exhausted yourself – until you are
emotionally paralyzed.
4) Play until you are unable to be any good whatsoever for the
present moment.

That’s when you’ve won the game.

Except you haven’t…

The enemy has.

It’s his game, you see –

Distracted, ineffective, discouraged, anxious, weak, intimidated…

We become nothing but little pawns of his fiery arrow thoughts – moved around on his game board, subject to his whims.

Why are we playing this game?

Why are we not fighting this battle?

It’s a subtle game. It’s not always easy to see who’s moving the pieces.

After all, these are just MY thoughts…right? I’m in control of my mind…right? If I have a thought enter my head, I have to think it…right?

“Sure, absolutely,” the devil says.

And don’t just think it. Invite it in for a meal. Let it have a sleepover. Hey, why not let it be a permanent houseguest –

My friends, the “What If” game is not harmless! It is an insidious inroad for the enemy’s work. We have to be aware of it. We have to be on guard. We have to fight against it.

And we need help.

Jesus won this game.

Satan played a great game of “What If” with Jesus in the wilderness.

“Hey, you’re tired and hungry…WHAT IF you turned these stones into bread?”

“I know, WHAT IF you jumped off the Temple – you could call a bunch of your angel buddies to save you.”

“You know, WHAT IF I gave you all the kingdoms of the world to rule over, right now?”

Jesus did not give in.

He used a failsafe strategythe ONLY effective strategy in this game. He used Scripture.

We must do the same.

The “Game of What If Past” –

“…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past…I press on to reach the end of the race…” (Philippians 3:13-14)

The “Game of What If Future” –

“Can all your worries add a single day to your life?...[God] will certainly care for you…So don’t worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:27, 30-31)

The final move in the “What If” game?

“Give us TODAY the food we need…” (Matthew 6:11)

THIS is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
(Psalm 118:24)

“You go before me and follow me…I can never get away from your presence…Every day of my life…every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:5, 7, 16)


Game Over.

We win.

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Sharon,
    An absolutely excellent blog, one I will return to, thank you for sharing. God Bless - Nita

  2. Sharon, all of your writings are so very wise, I have to think this is one of the best that the Lord has given you!! I think this was specifically given for me, LOL, with all I'm allowing myself to get beat up with over this upcoming move. I need to rely on Jesus more, less on myself, and allow him to "win" the game for me, after all, the Bible says on multiple times the battle belongs to the Lord. Excellent words today Sharon!


  3. Hi Sharon,

    I agree with you and of course with God! I don't dwell on the past. I try to press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God has called me heavenward. God takes all of our mistakes and bad decisions to work for the good of those who love him. Amen!

    Thanks for leaving a message on my latest post. Definitely ask your friend to pray with you more often and see what God can do! Halleluja!


  4. Hi Sharon,

    I actually, started playing the game by your rules, until I realized what I was doing; sensing something very depressing was my telltale red flag. That's what happens which you spend years writing software instructions, following logical and ordered thinking. This day has been quite serious for me to be playing the What If Game.

    The good thing for me is that your post was like a hard reset (pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys). So I can take a moment to smile at myself. Thank you my wonderful sister.

    Blessings and peace.


  5. this is soo awesome and you put it in such a way that's easy to relate to...and easy to remember.
    Never live in defeat!!!!

  6. Sharon,
    This was your best yet! I really identified with the "What if" game past. I used to play it so often that I lived in defeat--great acrostic! Just where he enemy wants us.

    Praise God for the wisdom and gift He gave you to expel this miserable thinking and to unveil it for what it is. GREAT WRITING!

    I like the last comment that put your name into an acrostic. It's so true!


  7. Hi Sharon -

    This piece is deep in impression. Quite appealing in content with truth throughout...
    Thank you, Sharon, for sharing this rich message.

    In the passage in Matthew 4 with Satan and JESUS, what, in particular, came to my mind after reading what you expressed - is this from Satan in Matthew 4:3, "...IF thou be the Son of GOD,..." I mean that just strikes me...

  8. Here, here! Checkmate indeed! What an awesome post! I will remember your words the next time I think I have to play this game....

  9. Nita - Thank you for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It's one of those posts where I'm talking to myself, and trying to listen!

    Betty - Though I didn't SPECIFICALLY write this for you, I'm so glad that it spoke to you! LOL! The battle IS the Lord's, and as you said, we've got to let Him "win" the game He's ALREADY WON!! Thinking and praying for you as you quickly approach your big move. Don't get beat up - beat the devil at his own game!

    Judy - Yes, trusting God with His promise that ALL things work for good. That is a game-winning move, too!! I did speak to my friend. She and I are going to set up some kind of regular prayer time together. We just KNOW that God is going to move greatly in this area. And we know that the enemy is not happy about this - he's been REAL active attacking us this week! But we know how to win this one...Checkmate!

    MTJ - Oh, blessings to you too. I just loved the RESET comment! I so appreciate your insight on the software analogy. It occurs to me that there are many ways that such logical and ordered thinking, as you say, could be a perfect avenue for the enemy to use against you. It would be so easy to say - what if - and then follow that line of thinking to its logical (though not God's) conclusion. I believe I read that you're also starting a new business - correct? My prayers will be with you. Trust (along with me) that God is the Sovereign Lord of the uncertain, and the Master of the Game of LIFE!

    Comments continue...keep reading!!

  10. Sarah - I'm so completely touched by your lovely acrostic using my name! How very thoughtful! It's all about God - and the things He's trying to teach me - and then what He wants others to hear. We're in this together - all playing the game - and encouraging each other to remember the Ultimate Victor - our wondrous GOD!

    Janis - Thank you!! I have spent most of my life playing both these versions of the "What If" game - and I'm tired! The past is covered by the blood of Christ, so is the future! And today is the day He has given me - the day HE can work His purposes. I'm glad that God is beginning to expel miserable thinking from my own life! Let's resolve to REFUSE to be defeated!

    Sandra - I'm so glad that these words spoke to you. Oh, great addition to the thoughts about the temptation of Jesus. What an insidious and taunting strategy of Satan - "IF thou be..." He is a Master, only outplayed with our Savior's help - the One who stood firmly against our enemy. (Interesting note, too: Satan used Scripture that he had memorized - but he did not obey it. Scripture is powerful for us because we OBEY it.)

    Karen - Oh yeah! Checkmate! We know that we're going to be tempted to play this game again and again - because it's SO effective against us! However, praise God, we have His Word to fight against the lies! And we have His Victory to claim as our own!

    I have to give some credit to my oldest son - he was the inspiration for this post. He came up with the idea of the "What If" game - and gave me some invaluable ideas about how it worked. And also the encouragement that it doesn't have to be a losing game...

    Thanks, B - you know how much I love you.

    GOD BLESS, friends!

  11. Distracted, ineffective, discouraged, anxious, weak, intimidated...

    First off, I need a second cup of coffee this morning because when I got to this part, I tried to spell it out into a word.


    Since Didawi doesn't spell anything, I realize that you weren't doing that for the third time and just describing ME. LOL

    I shall be calling myself a didawi all day in my head now thanks to you. I'm pronouncing it
    /DID- a- wee/ by the way.

    Interesting and inspired that you chose "distracted" as the first one. Our SS lesson this week on was some of the very passages that you reference (the "worry" one)

    The Greek word for worry in that passage means at its root "to be pulled into pieces through the idea of DISTRACTION."

    That's exactly Satan's game isn't it? If he can just distract us from Truth, he has won half the battle.

    Great post, Sharon. It is convicting when you get inside my sin nature and expose it like that.

  12. Debbie - OK, Didawi. I actually DID look that word up in Sharon's Acrostic Dictionary. It said this:

    D edicated
    I nstructional
    D ebbie
    A lways
    W riting
    I nspiration

    Just sayin' -

    Oh, how I LOVE the Greek word for worry. Isn't that just perfect?? That's how it feels when I worry - pulled into pieces. My mind can't concentrate, it feels fragmented - like spiritual ADD. I was reminded of those verses - Since we have a cloud of witnesses, put aside all the sins that hinder us. That kinda sums it up - I don't feel like I have the TIME anymore to be DISTRACTED by Satan's little ploys. He's good - and he still plays his game well against me. But, I'm getting better.

    I think being "on to him" is something he doesn't count on. I (we) cannot let him hide the Truth!

    My sister sent this little thought to me a while back:
    "Be the kind of woman, that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, "Oh no, she's up..."

    Hey, Debbie - just so you know, I'm crawling inside ME - and if it speaks to others, all the better. But my little sin nature attic is pretty full all on its own!!


  13. Oh AMEN! When I was much younger I had a friend who was incredibly insecure, and every few weeks she'd ask me an insane question that started with "What if ..." and ended in "would you still be my friend" (e.g. What if I accidentally ran over your dog? Would you still want to be my friend")

    For a while I tried to be reassuring, but eventually I realized that there was nothing I could say that would make her feel better when she was on this train of thought because she would just jump from one extreme scenario to the next. Finally we had a conversation and I told her that I wasn't going to answer a single question that started with "what if" ever again!

    Ever since then I have been acutely aware of what a dangerous phrase that can be. In our minds we rationalize it as planning for/against the future. But really it's just a tool of the enemy to fill us with FEAR and DOUBT.

    I can't help but think of Philippians 4:8
    Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

  14. Paula - Though I feel sorry for anyone who is so insecure, that had to be kinda ANNOYING, ya know?? But you're right, I've fallen victim to the "What If" game too many times to count. And it is a dangerous path to start down. I seem to get caught up more in the "Game of What If Future." I'm realizing more and more how much the enemy plays this game against me. And how my rationalizations are really just more of his clever tactics. Worrying is really a severe lack of trust in a good and loving God. Trusting is obedience - worrying is not.

    GREAT Scripture - so apt, and a good life motto!

    GOD BLESS - thanks so much for stopping by!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)