Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pursuit of Happiness

So I was thinking about this movie the other day. I thought about showing it if we did a movie night at the church. Of course, as Christians we would say that stability and wealth do not bring happiness, but I am sure that most of us still seek it. I think that the important part is our motive behind seeking wealth and stability. Do we need it for happiness or are we satisfied in Christ? Also, what do we want to do with wealth? The Christians in Acts shared everything one with another. Was that just the popular thing at the time or was it recorded in the Bible as an example for us to follow after?
I know that personally, I have dreams of getting rich. I have my plans to make money in the long run. Of course, being a missionary is probably not the best means, but there are still ways of earning more money over time. I have always been cheap and so even with our missionary salary, we have been able to save and we also have kept our condominium in the states, renting it out, which will help out financially in the future. But even if I did eventually make a lot of money, what are my reasons for it? Would I use it for those dreams of solving some missionary support raising problems, or would I buy a nice new car? To be honest, I am not sure what I would do. I have had a dream of supporting missionaries through real estate, but would I be willing to contribute my condo to see it happen? I am not sure about that because it would be a big sacrifice (it's Evelyn's college fund).
What about you? Are you striving for happiness through riches? Or do you have any plans to "change the world" with what you will make?


Aaron said...

Is the condo in Chattanooga? and if so, is it available?

David said...

David -

Good evening. I found your blog by "accident". Although as Christians, we know there is no such thing.

I was attraced to it first because we share the same name, David Carrel. Secondly, because I represented our church on a mission trip to Cameroon, Africa in Dec 2007. And lastly, to this specific post because I am a financial advisor.

I can promise you happiness is NOT found in wealth, but in (the condition of a person's) heart. Some of my wealthiest clients are in fact the most grumpy. Likewise, the clients that demonstrate a generous giving spirit are the most joyous to be with.

Anyway, that is my $.02 on the topic. Best wishes to you as you share the faith.


David Carrel said...

That is a very interesting perspective you have David. Thanks for visiting!

Seda said...

The root of the desire for wealth is fear - fear that one won't have enough, fear that the Universe does not supply abundance for all. Then, when you obtain riches, the fear of losing them - again, the fear that God does not supply abundance for all, the fear of poverty, of scarcity.

Jesus left a pretty good record of how to pursue happiness - "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness..." That kingdom, I believe, is Love - and it's available right now, right here. So it is to place complete faith in the abundance of the Almighty, and embody love.

In fact, the entire Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) could be considered a recipe for happiness, and a commandment to unconditional love. For instance, why did he say to love your enemies? Here's a thought, from Hafiz:

I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our

Here's another:

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe Me."
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the
Whole Sky.

David Carrel said...

And fear is a result of lack of trust in God who does provide for our needs.
And it would be great if we all just learned to love more and more, which we learn through God, like you say Seda to seek first the kingdom of God. Seek His will for our lives and allow Him to work through us, and when He does, His love will shine through us.
Ultimately, living for God will bring joy, which is probably a better word than happiness to pursuit. Happiness is more outward, joy is more inward.
Thanks for your thoughts Seda!