What Makes You Happy?

Posted on Dec 06 , 2014 in Life Lessons

What Makes You Happy?

© By Brad L Hodges

1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV)
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

How is happiness measured?

Well for some it is measured by how much “stuff” they have; big screen TV’s, the next big thing in smart phone technology or cutting edge tablet, the latest model of automobile or a big house in the suburbs.

“Stuff.” It’s what’s living is all about, right?

The problem is with “stuff” is that you never seem to have enough of it, do you? As soon as the “shine” wears off; a ‘4K curved screen TV’ comes out, a sharper resolution smart phone screen with an umpteen more megapixel camera or tablet as big as a standard yellow legal pad is released, an automobile that practically drives itself or another thousand square foot home comes on the market, you want to replace your “old” stuff with the better “new” stuff (1 Tim. 6:9-10).

There is no lasting contentment with the stuff of this world even though it may give you a momentary rush of ephemeral happiness.

There is also the old adage “you can’t take it with you,” so when you die, that stuff is utterly useless to you. Some have tried to take it with them, just check out the story of the Pharaoh’s and the pyramids. How did that work out for them? (1 Tim. 6:7).

Other folks get close to “happiness” by surrounding themselves with more non tangible things like friends or a challenging career.

These people however, kind of find themselves in the same rowboat as the stuff people. They can never have enough friends, real or perceived, and a career is only as good as the last bonus (which often makes them close kin to the stuff people), achievement award or project that too often distracts them from the really important things of life, but temporarily makes them feel fulfilled.

The more fortunate among us have discovered the value of family and the rewards of having a handful of resolute friendships. They place relationships above stuff but often they are devoid of real self contentment and supplant others and attempt to find validation through them, for a hole in their soul.

Finally there are those of humanity who have “entered through the narrow gate” (Matthew 7:13) and found the Holy Grail of true “godliness with contentment and great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).

These are the people who “hunger and thirst for righteousness and are filled” (Matthew 5:6) instead of crave and drink the ‘Kool-Aid’ of stuff and remain spiritually empty.

The “believers” of this world, those who have found complete contentment by abiding in Jesus Christ, not the “ways of the world,” are satisfied with “food and clothing” (1 Tim. 6:8) and the other basic needs provided by God.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).

It is not that believers hate having “stuff,” or for that matter shouldn’t enjoy having worldly possessions, but they have put the things of this world in the proper perspective of abiding in Christ which truly fulfills them with contentment from Him not the fleeting rush of tangible compilations. Believers have learned how to request from God the right way, not succumb to the wiles of stuff as a result of their prurience.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions (James 4:3).

Especially as we approach the secular frenzy of Christmas shopping this season seek contentment not from the things you can buy and receive, but from the true meaning of the Christ in Christmas.

If you put Christ first and foremost, the joy of family and close friends will closely follow, and creating new memories through them will be manifested rather than adding more things to your cache of stuff.

The secret to being happy is being fulfilled with the contentment brought by the salvation of Christ. Everything else you truly need, not covet, will follow.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).

529384: The Everyday Life Bible: The Power of God The Everyday Life Bible: The Power of God's Word for Everyday Living
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