Chapter 8~The Paradoxical Happiness of Less

Tresaure chestHave you ever watched the TV show Hoarders? I’ve only caught parts of it for short amounts of time, but clearly there are many folks who think “those with the most stuff wins”. While you may not classify yourself as a hoarder, we are certainly a society that like things. We pay monthly rent on storage garages for our treasures. Things we don’t want to part with, things that have meaning, or are not worthy of the trash can. I’m guilty too. (Although I don’t have a storage unit-yet!) I wouldn’t consider myself greedy, but I do like nice things. I truly enjoy my iPhone & iPad, I like nice tack for my horses, and the stuff that makes life easier. However, after reading this chapter, I have to ask myself where my treasure is. Where does my heart go? What do I consider to be my treasure? Luke 12:34 reminds us that “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

When I think of the disciples in the New Testament, I often think of them leaving everything and following Jesus. They simply dropped their nets, left thousands of fish (probably the biggest catch they’d ever had), and walked away. The Bible makes it sound like it was easy for them. Do you think they debated at all? Do you wonder if they went back to their families and said, “Hey, what do you think about this?” If they lived in today’s day and age, would they have walked away without their smart phone? Would they have left the comfort of their air-conditioned house to walk in the burning hot sun all day with Jesus? Would they leave their bank account that was full of money and cherish the idea of sleeping on the hard ground with a rock for a pillow? How were they going to eat? Did they even stop to consider this? As I roll those thoughts and questions around in my head, I can’t help but think “Yes”. Yes they would have done everything the same. They clearly walked away from their heart’s desires and let their heart follow after the things of Jesus, not the things of the world. Would you? Will you?

I don’t think God minds us having nice things and enjoying life. However, I do believe he wants us to keep our heart’s desires in line with His. What do you value more than anything else? Where do you keep it? Is your heart chasing things of this world, or is it chasing God? Our greatest treasure should be our relationship with God.

treasure heart

Questions: In the comment section below, please answer the following;

1.) “If we get just a little more, we’ll be happy.” What do you think of this sentence? Can it ever be true? Can it ever be false?

2.) What does Jesus say is the anser to always wanting more?

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2 Responses to Chapter 8~The Paradoxical Happiness of Less

  1. Karen Eklund ;) says:

    I’m studying Jen Hatmaker’s SEVEN bible study. It is SO eye opening! This quote from SEVEN really makes you stop and think. “We top the global food chain through no fault or credit of our own. I’ve asked God a billion times why I have so much while others have so little. Why do my kids get full bellies? Why does water flow freely from my faucets? Why do we get to go to the doctor when we’re sick? There is no easy answer. The “why” definitely matters, but so does the “what.” What do we do with our riches? What do we do with our privileges? What should we keep? What should we share? I better address this inequality since Jesus clearly identified the poor as His brothers and sisters and my neighbor.”

    From another page in SEVEN “Does God think of our income as a potential source to battle injustice; or is it simply a personal blessing to net us a happy life, a reward for being born in in America…” I think God was serious when he told Peter to “feed my sheep” and to “feed my lambs”.

    I have SO much and I need to have the heart to share with others that don’t have what they need to survive. The money that I would normally spend on the desires of my heart, is the same money that can help another family eat, or live, or have water, or get medicine. We live in luxury compared to many other countries. Surely that is not the way God meant it to be. I believe he calls on us to share. I don’t believe others do not have what they need to survive because of a shortage of supplies – it may just be that it is a shortage of our sharing.

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