Saturday, December 25, 2010
Are you a savage in pursuit of happiness?
Let me first clarify that I do not believe that money in and of itself is evil. To accumulate wealth is not an evil thing. There is no great virtue in pursuing poverty for poverty’s sake. There were many wealthy men in the Bible…Abraham was very rich. Solomon by modern day standards was probably a billionaire. It is our attitude toward money that gets us into trouble. Money is not the root of all evil, it is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil.
Let's back up this statement by looking a few facts:
- The average family usually spends about $750.00 on Christmas gifts.The average American family makes payments on 13 credit cards and has $5800 in month to month debt. Approximately 40% of American families spend more than they earn.
- The average American individual owes over $15,000 in credit card debt.
- The debt of the American government is about $14 trillion. In order to pay off this debt every individual in America would have to shell out $44,000. It looks like we have money problems at every level.
- James, author of the epistle of the same name, summed up quite well what is wrong with modern society. “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God” – James 4:2.
During a recent fire drill, I was first out the building. I know that I need to survive in order to take care of financially my two sons. My behavior however was starkly different than my peers. Others wanted to save material things such as laptops, cellphones, etc. Kinda ironic in that I just got a cell phone three weeks ago, already lost it and got another one which would have been the last thing for me to think about saving. We are deceived when we think we need the insignificant things in life.
- Col. 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
There is no correlation between money and happiness. In fact, more money may bring unhappiness. The more money you have the more time you’ve invested. Money comes and goes. Time is something lost forever. You may think, if only I made $150,000/year. But then you would want to make $175,000. If you made $1 million you would want to make $2 million.
Dissatisfaction is a plague that comes with money. We believe the lie of unredeemed money when it tells us that we will be happy if only we keep up with the Joneses. On too many occasions, you will fall into the trap of indexing where you will be encouraged to compare yourself to others. Over time, this will create negative feelings inside you. Don't let yourself be compared. You are an individual, not a human resource which is a commodity.
Happiness based on external things is no happiness at all. Happiness comes from within. For those who are Christians, God’s presence living within causes them to be content in whatever circumstance they find themselves in.
People who look for the abundant life in their money and possessions never find true satisfaction.
Why do we set our affections on the creation rather than the Creator? God alone owns the world. The cattle on a thousand hills are His (Psalm 50:10). He alone can supply our every need (Philippians 4:19). There is no security in any plan which denies God as Lord of our lives and of all that we possess.
Money will make you happy? Don’t believe it. It provides a temporary pleasure like all the other ‘stuff’ in life. True happiness can only be found in a higher, transcendent One.
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