147) Can Money Buy Happiness?

    Everyone knows that money cannot buy happiness, but few live as though they believe that.  Therefore, they are unable to be satisfied with what money they do have, no matter how much it may be.  In this, more than in any other area, we see the truth of what Samuel Johnson said when he pointed out that what we need is not so much to be instructed in morality as to be reminded.  Here are a few ‘reminders.’

He is not poor who has little, but who desires much.

Poverty consists not in the decrease of one’s possessions, but in the increase of one’s greed.  –Plato

I make myself rich by making my wants few…
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it.
–Henry David Thoreau

 You can’t have everything.  Where would you put it?   –Steven Wright

 Broadway is a place where people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.   –Walter Winchell

 Alexander the Great cried when there were no more lands to conquer.  The whole world was not enough to satisfy him.

 “I lived the American dream.  I was married to a multimillionaire.  I had immediate status.  I was living in a house worth a million dollars.  I took trips all over the world.  I had servants.  All these things without working for them.  But it was so much work.  For every dollar of affluence, you end up getting two dollars worth of trouble.”    —American Dreams: Lost and Found, Studs Terkel, p. 354

 Everything you own means that much more trouble for you.  –Chinese proverb

Everything I own has a hook in me.  –James Dobson

‘Affluenza’ is a strange malady that can affect the children of well-to-do parents.  Though having everything money can buy, these children sometimes show all of the symptoms of abject poverty– depression, anxiety, loss of meaning, and despair for the future.  Affluenza accounts for an escape into alcohol, drugs, shoplifting, and suicide among children of the wealthy.  It is most often found where parents are absent from the home and try to buy their children’s love.
–David McKenna, Christianity Today, May 15, 1987, p. 28
 
All of us experience firsthand the sad effects of this blind submission to pure consumerism.  In the first place a crass materialism, and at the same time a radical dissatisfaction, because one quickly learns that the more one possesses, the more one wants, while deeper aspirations remain unsatisfied and perhaps even stifled.  –Pope John Paul II

 There is a burden of care in getting riches, fear in keeping them, temptation in using them, guilt in abusing them, sorrow in losing them, and a burden of account at last to be given concerning them.  –Matthew Henry, English clergyman (1662-1714)

 Where there is too much, something is missing. –Jewish proverb

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Ecclesiastes 5:10,11 —  Whoever loves money never has money enough;  whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.  This too is meaningless.  As goods increase, so do those who consume them.  And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?

Proverbs 28:6 —  Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.  

I Timothy 6:6-10 —  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

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    Almighty God, whose loving hand hath given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honor thee with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  
                                               —Book of Common Prayer