Wealth and Happiness

by Jason on November 14, 2009

These two terms belong together don’t they – Wealth and Happiness?  Do you remember a time in your life where you weren’t making much money?  You probably weren’t very happy.

Maybe it was during college, or when you first started a business – perhaps it’s now and you’ve lost your job recently.  One thing that often goes through our minds if we were honest with ourselves is this:

Photo Credit: John Carleton

If only I had a bit more money, then I wouldn’t be so strapped and could actually enjoy life!

What’s ironic is that not only do many poor people feel this way, but what I’ve often noticed is that many wealthy people feel this way too!

John D. Rockefeller famously answered, “Just a little bit more” when asked the question how much money is enough.

I went to a business planning session yesterday with a group of advisors and one gentlemen mentioned how America is the richest nation in the world – yet the most depressed! 

How could this be?  The answer is clearly that wealth does not equal happiness!

After you arrive at a certain standard of living that affords you the basics – house, food, clothing etc. – any correlation between happiness and money is short lived! 

Think about it, all those things you thought would make you happy didn’t really bring you happiness.  Be honest.  How long after you achieved that goal or that wealth did you say to yourself:

Is that it?  What can I accomplish now?

1 Timothy 6:17-19 offers a little perspective about the rich and their attitude towards money:

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and  ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

What’s interesting about this passage is that the Apostle Paul tells us that in order to enjoy our wealth and our lives our hope should be set on God.

He also tells us that the rich should be generous, ready to share, doing good and their wealth shouldn’t define them, but rather their good works (rich in good works).

Now, some of you might say, but I’m not rich.  I dare you to go to the Global Rich List – type in your annual income and compare yourself to the rest of the world!  Then let me know what percentile you are in! 

You are wealthier than you think – and that wealth won’t bring you ultimate happiness.  You want true happiness?  Put your hope in God, through Jesus Christ and be generous!

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