Friday, October 07, 2011


It’s not hard to understand why people long to be financially secure and dream of winning the Lottery. People can’t help but dream of a life where every need is taken care of in advance and all fears of the unknown tomorrow are laid to rest. But money does not perform that work in us.

We have convinced ourselves that money will take away our anxiety about tomorrow. We believe that with enough money we will never need to worry about anything again. But one can plainly see that the Millionaires in our world are not the most peaceful, content and worry-free among us.

Having money usually brings more anxiety along with it. Keeping money and protecting it and finding ways to earn more of it is a never-ending process that consumes the human mind and poisons the heart. Money does not bring us peace, or happiness, or joy. A recent study by the University of Rochester confirms this fact. In the study, one of the researchers, Edward Deci, a professor of psychology, concluded that, "even though our culture puts a strong emphasis on attaining wealth and fame, pursuing these goals does not contribute to having a satisfying life.”

In fact, according to the results of this study, being rich, famous, well-respected, or beautiful can actually have the opposite effect. It can actually make you miserable.

Want proof? Just watch a half hour entertainment news program on television and you’ll see the evidence: Drug abuse, infidelity, diva tantrums, criminal acts, psychological meltdowns, and other assorted examples of self-destructive behavior. It’s no different for politicians, CEO’s or lottery winners either.

The secret to real happiness and contentment is not found in the things of this world. It’s not found in our circumstance. I’ve met people who are dirt poor and yet full of joy. I’ve met people who are rich beyond belief and yet still empty inside.

In Matthew 6, Jesus confidently assures us that, if we will change our perspective to align with the Kingdom of God, we can enjoy the peaceful, stress free sort of life we’ve always dreamed of. According to Jesus we already have all we need for our life today. God has already provided each of us with our daily bread. Just as God cares for the daily needs of sparrows, He cares even more for us.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" - Matthew 6:25-26

Jesus also tells us that we do not need to worry about tomorrow. Why? Because God has everything - absolutely everything - under complete and perfect control.

"So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:31-34

Of course, if God is in control, that means that you and I are not. This is what most of us really struggle with. But we can't have it both ways. If God is in control, we are not. That's why trusting God is so important. Without trust, we are filled with anxiety and strife. But if we can let go of everything and trust that God is good, that He really loves us, and that He really only wants what’s best for us, then trusting Him is the only response that makes sense.

So, who is truly rich? Isn't it the person who has all they need right now and who has no fear or anxiety about tomorrow? Jesus urges us to live that way right now. As citizens of the Kingdom of God, our daily bread is secure and Jesus has tomorrow under complete control.

If you have eyes to see the Kingdom, you have already won the greatest Lottery of all. You are a child of the Creator of the Universe. You’ve been adopted into His family. He loves you. Everything is going to be alright.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:11-13


1 comment:

David T. Ulrich said...

"[P]ursuing these goals does not contribute to having a satisfying life.”

Great article and voice in it.