Even if we know in our heads that the pursuit of earthly wealth is ultimately empty, it’s easy to fall into our culture’s assumption that money and happiness are connected. The primary purpose of this post is to remind myself that more money won’t make me happier.
First, remember that happiness is not the highest prize. Jesus was described prophetically as a Man of Sorrow, and when we suffer through Godly sorrow we participate in his essential nature.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,Isaiah 53:3
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Second, here is some evidence that more money won’t make you happier.
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: A certain amount of money is very useful for meeting the two lowest levels of need (physiological and safety), but money isn’t very useful for meeting higher-level needs.
- Income beyond $75,000 per year (2010 dollars) doesn’t lead to significantly greater day-to-day happiness.
- A person with $10 million is only about 2.5% happier than a person with $1 million. And what makes millionaires happiest? Giving away their wealth.
- You can’t take wealth with you when you die (1 Timothy 6:6-11)
- You don’t know when you will die, so be rich in God (Luke 12:13-21)
- You can “lay up for yourself treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-21)
- Wealth can enslave you (Luke 18:18-30). The Rich Young Ruler: “when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.”
- Wealth will not satisfy you (Ecclesiastes 5:10-17). Vanity: emptiness, void; transitory; vapor, breath.
Third, here’s a quick refresher on what is likely to make you happier:
- Sex with your spouse
- Understanding sex differences between you and your spouse
- Sleep and sex (naked)
- The happiness that is attributed to wealth actually seems to come at least partially from the work that created the wealth, not the wealth itself.
- Your wife / spouse (Proverbs 5:18-19)
- Meekness, mercy, purity, etc. (The Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12)
- Suffering for Christ (1 Peter 4:12-16)
- Waiting on God (Psalm 37:4-11)
I hope this post is a blessing to you! Please share your experiences in the comments.