Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Money – and Happiness

Okay, we now have conclusive, definitive proof – at least according to a study conducted by the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University – that money can buy happiness.


The last time you got a new car, did that make you sad? Or when you purchased a flashy new computer – or the latest cell phone? Or even a new clothing outfit? Did that make you angry?

Of course money can buy happiness – temporarily. But the things money can buy get old, wear out or rust out, break, go out of style, get lost, or we simply grow tired of them. That CD you just had to have a few months ago? Not fun anymore. That shirt or dress that in 2009 seemed as if it had been designed exclusively for you? Boring. The vacation trip last year that took an entire year’s savings? A distant, fading memory.

The fact is, happiness and happenings come from the same root word. So whenever nice things happen, we feel happy. But happiness is fleeting. Just let somebody back into your shiny new car and discover then how you feel.

Years ago I heard a speaker wisely distinguish happiness (which depends on external events) from joy (which is formed within). Being diagnosed with heart disease or cancer won’t make you happy, but you still can feel joy when you have confidence in the God who tells us to, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you have trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

Interesting: Since this study was done at Princeton, one of the really expensive institutions in the country, imagine how happy those folks are!

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