Money Won’t Buy Happiness
Have you ever seen the bumper sticker “He who dies with the most toys wins”? I saw one that said, “He who dies with the most toys still dies.” I believe that many of us have bought the idea that life consists in how much we have. We are blitzed with countless reminders that having more means being more important, being more attractive, or being more valuable.
Every person is bombarded with an average of one hour of advertisements every day. Advertising is on our streets and highways; in restaurants, shops, and magazines; and even in our homes and on our clothes.
In a recent survey, 93% of teenage girls named shopping as their favorite thing to do. By the time they’re three years old, most American children are making specific requests for brand-name products. Every day you are being told that unless you buy this product or eat at this restaurant, you’re not really happy. We’ve grown up in a culture that says having more means being happier. But Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “A person’s life does not consist of the abundance of possessions.” That’s not where you’re really going to find fulfillment and happiness.
Ask most people today if money buys happiness and they’ll say no. But ask those same people if a little more money will make us a little more happy– and most will agree. The Roper Organization asked Americans who make $15,000- $30,000 how much they needed to fulfill all their dreams. The largest group said they’d need $50,000-$60,000. Yet when that same question was put to people earning over $50,000, the largest group in that segment said they’d need at least $125,000 a year, if not more.
Over the past 15 years researchers have studied the relationship between money and happiness. They have concluded that money can buy pleasure, but not happiness. What’s the difference? Pleasure is a temporary release. But happiness comes from your experiences in which you enjoy investing your mental and emotional energies. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:6-7, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
Paul is saying that an individual who is in right standing with God and has the spirit
of contentment will live a right kind of life. We can develop the spirit of contentment by being thankful for what we do have, what God has done for us, and for the blessings already in our lives. Most all of us will have to admit that God has really been good to us. How many more blessings does one need in order to be thankful? Why don’t decide that for today we will give thanks instead of complaints? Freedom comes into a person’s life when he releases himself from the endless pursuit of possessions. So, for today, I am going to pursue Him!
The article “Money Won’t Buy Happiness” written by Donald Bryan is excerpted from The Louisiana Challenger, July 2009, Volume 65, No.7