Friday, January 06, 2006

secret to happiness

Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. 7 After all, we didn't bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. 8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. I Tim. 6:6-10

I have been thinking a lot about the concept of contentment lately. Did you know that if you and I, and the rest of this great country we live in, were to stop buying things we don’t need, with money we don’t really have, our economy would suddenly crash? Our entire economy is based upon us not being content. I am bombarded each night with television commercials telling me over and over how much more I must have in order to be happy.

Well, I have learned that stuff doesn’t make me happy. Or have I? Some once said that the secret to real happiness is wanting what you have. Jesus taught us not to worry about trying to get stuff. He said for us to trust our Father to provide for us what we need. Yet we live in a culture that tempts us at every turn to buy, buy, buy. Of course we can really afford it so we are graciously given credit. You know, the little friend in your purse or wallet that enables you to buy stuff you don’t really need with money you don’t really have.

According to USA Today: 55% of divorces are about money; Biggest personal stress factors on people are money; 63% of all bankrupcy are credit cards; 1.5 in 2001 filed bankrupcy and has gone way since; the average balance in 2005 was $10,000 per card; Sears processes 700,000 credit aps per month; Citi bank spends $100,000,000.00 on marketing to high school & college students a year; 1.5 trillion is the debt now on credit cards held by Americans.

I personally believe that a force is at work against our lustful hearts. I believe that we are involved in a struggle beyond what most are aware of. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:12
I believe that we have an enemy trying to bring us into slavery and bury us so deep that we can’t even think of being like God. Yes, I am talking about being like God. And what is God like? He is generous! Many cannot truly be generous because they are buried.

It is time for us to open our eyes and see the deception for what it is. Let’s face it. We have more stuff and we are more miserable than ever. It’s funny that the word miserable comes from our word miser. This is because the real way to be happy isn’t to get a bunch of stuff. A famous man once said that it is more blessed to give than receive. He is so right.

This is a year for me to learn to be more content. If I do I wonder if I will be happier? Lord, I love You more than money.


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