If there is a “secret” for happy living, I think it would have to involve generosity and contentment. Happy people are content with what they have. Unhappy people are constantly chasing the “next” thing. Happy people share with those around them. They live with open hands…and open hearts. Unhappy people spend their time guarding what is theirs…and envying others for having more.
As with most important things in life, the “secret” is simple…and difficult. There are few paths more difficult than the one from envy to contentment. There are few exercises more excruciatingly painful than opening our stiff hands to let go of what we consider “ours”.
Unless we trust God for our daily needs…our “daily bread”.
WHEN we trust him to provide for us today, AND tomorrow, everything begins to change. We can experience contentment when we are able to truly enjoy what we have been blessed with today, because we can trust that God will provide what we need tomorrow. It’s easier to share when we realize that we are “gatherers” and not “makers”…when we realize that voluntarily sharing now, doesn’t “take away” from our future…it actually adds to future blessing as we “store up treasures in heaven”.
It’s interesting that hoarders and minimalists, greed motivated billionaires and those who take vows of poverty, all look to “stuff” for happiness. (If I have more stuff I’ll be happy…If I have less stuff I’ll be happy.) What if the answer isn’t “stuff” at all? Jesus said the answer was found in a simple prayer…a simple contentment and generosity that comes from trusting our loving Father in Heaven.
It’s really not a secret at all…
44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. (Acts of the Apostles 2:44-47)