Monday, April 4, 2011

The Truth Behind the Idea That Money Can Buy Happiness

“You cannot serve both God and money.”

~Luke 16:13 (NIV, 2011).

Watch any number of television networks’ current affairs programs and there’s bound to be success stories lauding the people making it big or rich. They are sold to viewing audiences as having it all. But, do they?

It’s natural to get envious of people making a success of themselves, as we easily forget it’s God who put them there, whether they attribute this or not. But, should we really get envious?

We’re More Alike Than We Think

Life is hard to work out in this way. The people who seem to get ahead are, in reality, no further ahead of us.

Despite our comparisons, God’s got them framed with us.

We’ll all laugh. We’ll all cry. We’ll all win and lose. We’ll all die. We’re more the same than we’re different.

We should be happy with that, but invariably we’re not. When we begin to take life for granted we do want more and more; the already mighty blessings, so-so.

Want a Million Dollars or Jesus?

This is a no-brainer to the far majority of the world, even venture to say it, tempted are Christians. But, God issues the directive: “Me or money?”

Money, fame and popularity are alluring, and any unsuspecting or situationally greedy human being is swept off their feet, seduced to the power of these worldly portents of power. They can’t help themselves, for they don’t see the damage; the harms it’s causing.

Money, fame and popularity are curses. The only disclaimer is for the well-adjusted, and precious few successful ones are. We marvel when we see them, but they seem rarer than chicken hen teeth.

The Truth About Money

Money is a trap. It takes us into realms of complexity, self-deceit and a volley of decision-making folly. That’s to name just three.

Money cannot buy happiness; though used wisely it can provide much joy — for others first, then ourselves. These are the blessings of God, not money.

But, most people obtaining money will not get with it the necessary wisdom of insight and restraint to enjoy it. Money will tend to be for them a noose around their ankles. It changes things. These changes are not always — and hardly ever — for the good.

Freedom for Happiness Lies Beyond Money

The less we’re focused on money the better our spiritual blessings of God are.

The more we’re focused on simplicity and eternity — which is the life lived now, and beyond to life in heaven — the more meaning and purpose we’ll derive for life, and the happier we’ll be.

Money cannot buy happiness; instead it provides a more surreal form of misery.

Now, with a heart that places God’s imperatives supremely, money can, however, serve it. It must always be slave to these imperatives.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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