There are consequences for bad choices we make. We rely on our decisions to better our standing in life; however, bad choices can place a damper on your self-esteem and make for a lack of confidence in your own worth or abilities.  A bad choice can ruin a friendship, marriage, an organization, and even a society.

People who pursue the good life through material possessions often make poor choices.  For example, they purchase things they cannot afford and live above their means, decisions with dire consequences.

The complexity of life raises a question: what does the ‘finest things in life’ mean to you? Speeding around town in the fastest car? Living in a community in the finest home? Wearing the most fashionable clothes or having the most prestigious job?  Having the wrong attitude about possessions makes life more complex and is a bedrock for bad choices in life. However, making the right decision is paramount for a stress-free healthy life.

English writer and philosopher G.K. Chesterton said, “There are two ways to get enough. One is to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less and less.” A good question to ask yourself is:  “Which one of these roads are you traveling—to accumulate more or to desire less?”

I have discovered that happiness doesn’t live in the things we possess, but rather in the spirit of love. Many others have discovered this truth. After months of solitude in Antarctica, Admiral Richard Byrd wrote, “I’m learning a man can live profoundly without masses of things.” Guidelines founder, author and minister Harold Sala writes, “People today are possessed by possessions as no other generation.”

The more complex life becomes, the more convinced we are that we need more to be happy. Having obtained what we think we need, we soon become unhappy because a certain model comes out with better bells and whistles. It takes far less than we think to discover happiness if it comes from within and we break the stranglehold that ‘stuff’ has on our lives.

So, how much is enough? A biblical story that has shaped my attitude towards material possessions is the one of the rich young ruler who inquired about how he could enter heaven. He wrestled with the answer: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” This was not the answer he expected. Does this mean God is opposed to us having the finest things that life has to offer? No, He’s just against anything taking His place in our lives because He knows that “Our heart will be where our treasures are.” Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net

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