17 Nov It Turns Out Money Does Buy Happiness
People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6: 9-10
The rush from cashing my first paycheck after college made me feel like I was rich. In reality, being rich or poor is all relative. My definition of being rich meant that I no longer had to worry about whether or not I could pay my monthly utility bills. I falsely believed I would finally live my dream life on Easy Street.
Money did initially bring me happiness after being a starving student for so many years. The love of fashion has always been a weakness of mine. After getting on my feet financially, I splurged on myself and purchased a new handbag. Initially, I had an endorphin high from shopping. Unfortunately, over time, that beautiful handbag was no longer new or pristine.
My knee-jerk reaction was to go buy something else in order to feel that same endorphin high from shopping. Deep down in my soul, I was less content than I’d ever been in my life. I was trying to use my career and stuff to fill a void in my heart. The problem was this strategy is that stuff always breaks, rusts, goes out of style, or loses its luster.
Trappings of this world also become meaningless when faced with real trials. I felt discouraged because I thought I would finally be happy when I was able to support myself financially. The world had fooled me.
It turned out that money did buy temporary happiness; it just didn’t buy lasting JOY.
The scriptures teach us this truth in 1 Timothy 6. If you spend your days longing to be rich, you will be tempted and trapped by your own harmful desires. Your flesh is inherently evil. Not money. Money is a tool to be used to bless people and provide for basic human needs, such as food and shelter. What’s evil is when our heart desires money above all else.
As time marched on, I began to experience chronic health issues. A physician recommended surgery to solve my chronic sinusitis, which was just one of the health challenges I was dealing with at that time. My life had not turned out to be the fairy tale that my professors had promised me in business school.
After having sinus surgery, I spent two weeks recovering at home. My first day back in the office was extremely stressful. I found myself buried in piles of paperwork and demands I could not meet. I cupped my head in my hands and sighed with disgust as tears rolled down my cheeks. Unexpectedly, my nose also began to bleed and flow down my face alongside my tears. Eventually, the blood was hemorrhaging from my nose and I slowly began to lose consciousness. No amount of stuff or money could save my life.
We learned later that an artery had been accidentally severed during my sinus surgery. After having an additional emergency surgery to cauterize the artery in order to stop the bleeding, I needed a blood transfusion. I was teetering on the brink of death.
How had my life ended up here? I was supposed to be the kid with tons of potential, a great education, and a promising career. Friend, when we fail to learn lessons in an easy manner, God in his mercy, will strip everything away until He gets our attention. It took this trauma to awaken me to what values are truly important to the God of the universe. He values our heart and a relationship with us, above all else.
My career as a Financial Advisor now gives me a platform to teach individuals how to manage money well and deliver the gospel simultaneously. How we handle our money often represents our heart. Friend, please know that the best life insurance policy is to know that our eternal life is in fact insured. Money and stuff are not inherently bad. We just can’t use them as a substitute for Jesus. True security and Joy can only come from Him. What are you tempted to use as a substitute for Jesus in your life?
Let’s continue this conversation in my new book titled, “Faithful Finance: 10 Secrets to Move from Fearful Insecurity to Confident Control.” It’s available now online at Amazon and other bookstores. I promise to teach you practical skills for managing money through stories and easy to understand language. We’ll also talk a lot about Jesus.
My prayer for you is that my wounds will encourage you to personally seek a relationship with Jesus, the only source of true JOY. I also pray that you will learn to manage money in such a way that it does not manage you.
Learn more about living financially free by streaming my new show Faithful Finance Live on Pure Flix with their 7 day free trial.