How Much Is Enough? (What does it take to be happy?)

by | Jan 21, 2024 | 2024, Musings | 0 comments

I like to chew on things when I am on a road trip. Nuts and chips work. The sweet and sour candies are a good choice. But my favorite is probably licorice. I like both the black and red versions.

So, on a trip over this past Christmas break, I stocked up on some munchies. When it came time to purchase the licorice, I had a dilemma. The store sold that sweet treasure in a small box that contained maybe ten strands of the twisted delight. They also sold a large bag full of the tasty red sticks. That bag probably contained 25 pieces of licorice.

But they also sold a tub full of red licorice. I would guess it contains maybe 100 pieces. So, my dilemma was clear. How much licorice was going to be enough? How much would satisfy my sweet tooth? How much chewy stuff do I need to for one day’s drive? (FYI, I chose the bag, and it was enough.)

But let’s explore that same line of thought as it relates to money. How much money is enough?

A 2007 book written by Sonja Lyubomirsky asserts that there is a set amount of money that many Americans believe can buy them a sense of contentment and well-being. Some of those interviewed said that it would be enough to just be able to pay their bills on time. Others felt that it would be enough if they could just live debt free. Still others felt that owning a home would make them happy.

However, the book, How of Happiness describes the research that shows 59% of Americans do believe that happiness can be had for a mere $1.2 million. Wow.

But the sad news of Sonja’s research is the fact that, 73% of those same Americans said they were struggling through financial stress, so much so that they will have to postpone their retirement by 3 years. It appears that not many people have “enough.”

And yet, for the believer, our satisfaction and our security are not found in the tabulation of our bank account. But our joy is wrapped up in our relationship with Christ. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

What does it take to be happy? Answer: A deep and abiding personal relationship with God’s Son. We find joy when we hang out with Jesus. And I promise, it is enough!



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