What is True Happiness and How Do You Get it?
In today’s world we are more connected than ever before. We can instantaneously be bombarded with information. This can be good or bad. It depends on what you do with it.
This information “firehose” requires a heightened awareness.
It is easy to be pulled into the worldly aspirations of the rich and famous. The question is…is that what you really should want? Is that what’s best for you?
I’m currently reading Matthew McConaughey’s book Greenlights. This unconventional memoir is filled with raucous stories of outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction. In this book he shares the struggle of dealing with fame and fortune and how he would periodically take sabbaticals to get away and get re-centered. (Keep in mind parts of this book are R rated.)
What is most important, wealth, beauty or wisdom?
While on a trip in the desert a man stumbles upon an old lamp. To get a better look at it, he wipes it off. While rubbing it, a genie appears. The genie says that he will grant the man one of three wishes…he can either be the richest man in the world, the most popular or the wisest. The man says, “We all know that money does not bring happiness and popularity just makes you a slave to the whims of others, but wisdom is everlasting. I want to be the wisest man in the world.” Poof the wish is granted. Suddenly the man’s face has a serious expression. He sits down, rubbing his chin in thought. He looks at the genie and says, “I should have taken the money”.
Too often, wealth and popularity are what people long for. It’s what the world would have you believe is what you should be after. Choosing wisdom over the others is hard. There is a lot of responsibility that goes with wisdom.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote, “Be careful how you live. Live wisely, not like fools. I mean that you should use every opportunity you have for doing good, because these are evil times. So don’t be foolish with your lives but learn what the Lord wants you to do.”
The foolish person lives as if there is no God.
As Chance the Rapper was gaining popularity and beginning to spike as a hip hop artist, his grandma was not impressed. She told him, “I don’t like what’s going on. I can see it in your eyes. We’re gonna pray.”
Chance said, “She prayed positive things for me all the time.” But this time, she said, “Lord, I pray that all things that are not like You, You take away from Chance. Make sure that he fails at everything that is not like You. Take it away. Turn it into dust.”
This left Chance thunderstruck. “Is she praying that I fail at everything I’m trying to do?” In reality…
She cared more about his soul than his success.
Chance went on to be a popular wealthy Christian artist with wisdom.
Our soul is more important than our success. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want you to be successful because He does. What it means is that we need to have our priorities in order. God first and everything else will follow.
In 1 Kings 3 Solomon asks God for wisdom rather than wealth or popularity. This made God happy so… “I will give you what you asked for. I will make you wise and intelligent. I will also give you what you did not ask for. You will have riches and honor in your life.” And he did.
True happiness comes from God. Get your priorities in order and happiness will follow.