We help you give and we strengthen the causes you give to

Generosity is our cause

Submenu title



I wish I were...

Photo of Debbie Wright Debbie Wright
3 min

‘I wish I were……’ is probably one of the most destructive phrases any of us can think or utter. And unfortunately for all of us, Christians included, it can insidiously creep in, throwing seeds of dissatisfaction into every area of our lives. '…slimmer, fitter, richer, wiser, younger, more popular, talented, confident, focused…' - the list goes on and on.

And dissatisfaction nearly always comes along with its cousin - comparison. A successful Times columnist wrote that her New Year’s Resolution was not to buy any more glossy women’s magazines. Peering into other women’s wonderful lives, careers, beautiful homes and talented children always left her disheartened and suddenly unhappy with her own lot in life. My 19-year-old daughter has closed down her Instagram account and rarely visits her Facebook page. She said, ‘Even though I know my friends only post good things about their lives, somehow scrolling through their fab holidays, exciting parties and celebrated achievements just ended up making me feel low, inadequate and depressed, when I needn’t feel that way at all.’

So, how do we rid ourselves of dissatisfaction and comparison? We know that Jesus says come to me and I will give you rest, but how does that actually work out? Paul gives us a big clue in his letter to the Philippians:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. Philippians 4:11-12, NIV

In all his different circumstances, Paul has learnt to be content. The key word here is ‘learned’. Contentment doesn’t come easily to us or easily to Paul; he learnt it and so can we. To learn to be content, we have to start with our own lives, here and now in this moment, in this day, in these circumstances, and we do this by expressing thanks. When we express heartfelt thanks, we begin to notice a feeling of gratitude.

The counterbalance to dissatisfaction, and its close relative comparison, is gratitude, and along with gratitude comes contentment:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

During January, I kept a 30-day gratitude journal, giving thanks for at least 3 things every day. And it is amazing the difference it’s made: rather than thinking about what I don’t have, I focus on what I do have…and give thanks. Your brain, thoughts and musings fill up with blessings and thanks rather than longings and that ’I wish…’ sentence. Whether I can keep it up is another thing, but to focus on what I have been given, what I have been blessed with is a whole new mind set that is freeing and offers, like Paul experiences, contentment and peace.

Generous Newsletter

Monthly emails for supporters. Inspiration, practical tools and guidance to support the causes you love in more meaningful ways. 

Profile image of Debbie Wright
Written by

Debbie Wright

Debbie was a staff writer at Stewardship until 2022, having been responsible for creating online and offline content including Share Magazine, blogs, case studies, generosity and giving resources. Previously a Producer and Director for BBC Education and Science, she enjoys working on creative ideas to encourage people to live generous lives.

Debbie is a marmalade connoisseur and fair-weather birdwatcher and lives in London with her husband and youngest daughter of four girls. She is passionate about Local Church, Creation Care and Arts & Media, with a particular focus on supporting Christians working in the arts and media.