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The Behaviors of Happiness

The Behaviors Of Happiness

By Moses Heyward on 7/12/20 in our series “Staycation“.

Many of us find ourselves thinking, “I’d be happy if I just had more money”?  We have a dollar amount in our head, and we think if we can get that much, the joy it gives us will last forever. But the truth is, if our satisfaction is rooted only in how much money we have, we will never find happiness, not the kind that lasts. Even if we achieve our biggest financial dream, many of us end up wanting more and more. In this series, learn behaviors that truly happy people practice which create lasting satisfaction, no matter how much money is in the bank.

Message Notes

The truth is money might not make you happy, but it can definitely make you unhappy.

Luke 16:10-13:
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.  11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?  12  And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? 13  No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

Money can cause us to lose sight of God’s sovereignty.

Idolizing money causes us to make decisions that move us further from God’s purpose for our lives and blinds us to God. This in turn robs us of our happiness as we deal with decisions that are the fall out of losing sight of God, losing sight of His purpose, His plan, His sovereignty, and His sufficiency.

Putting money at the forefront will cause you to exhibit the following behaviors that will lead you towards financial regrets.

  • Discontentment
  • Greed
  • Debt

Discontentment– Has a snowball effect of dissatisfaction always leading to the need for more

  • Discontentment leads to unhappiness
  • Discontentment leads to overworking
    • Proverbs 23:44: Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
  • Discontentment leads to disappointment

Greed – Strengthens money’s grip on us

  • Greed leads to worry:
    • Matthew 6:19-21: Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  20  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
  •  Greed leads to division and unnecessarily robs you of precious time
  • Greed blinds you from the value of life

Debt – Limits your resources and your Source

  • Debt puts you on the opposite side of God
    • Romans 13:7:  Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.
  • Debt causes you to worry
  • Debt prevents you from being generous

The relationship between your money and your happiness is dictated by how you manage it, not how much you have.

In order for Jesus to be your master rather than money, there are three behaviors that you can take that will lead you towards happiness. They are the opposites of the ones that lead you to financial regret:

  • Contentment
  • Generosity
  • Service

In order to prevent money from making you unhappy, you have to become a better manager of your money. Learn to exhibit and practice behaviors that oppose discontentment, greed and indebtedness.

Contentment – overcomes the desire for more.

  • Contentment leads to wealth, prosperity and peace.
    • 1 Timothy 6:6-8: Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.  7  After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.  8  So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
    • Proverbs 28:25 Greed causes fighting; trusting the LORD leads to prosperity.
  • Contentment leads to Stability
    • James 1:2-8: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way,
      consider it an opportunity for great joy.  3  For you know that when your faith is
      tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  4  So let it grow, for when your
      endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
      5  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will
      not rebuke you for asking.  6  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in
      God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a
      wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  7  Such people should not
      expect to receive anything from the Lord.  8  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
  • Contentment allows you to enjoy the life that God has given you! It allows you to live your life to its fullest!

Trust God’s timing for His blessings. God is generous, but He also gives according to His wisdom. There are gifts that a parent can give, like a new car to their 13-year-old, that on one hand seem generous. However, this gift could be detrimental to your child if they aren’t prepared to handle it. Likewise, trust God knows you best and provides the right amount at the appropriate time.

Generosity – Connects us to something bigger than our wealth

  • Isaiah 32:8: But generous people plan to do what is generous,
    and they stand firm in their generosity.
  • Generosity is a way to bring prosperity and blesses you and your family
    • Psalm 37:26: The godly always give generous loans to others,
      and their children are a blessing.
    • Proverbs 22:9: Blessed are those who are generous,
      because they feed the poor.

Generosity comes from faithfulness and experience with God. It draws you closer to God as you rely on Him, and that’s where happiness stems from.

Serving – postures me like Christ and points others to God in the process.

2 Corinthians 9:13: As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your
generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient
to the Good News of Christ.

Serving is a generous way of fulfilling your God-given purposes. Doing so gives your life direction, meaning, fulfillment.

If you want to feel happier, manage your finances and time according to biblical principles.
Our financial choices rob us of God’s blessing when we prioritize them over the will of
God for our life. 

But when we keep God at the forefront, we prioritize contentment, generosity and
service, those allow us to manage our finances and our time in a way that leads us down
the path that God desires for our life. We’ll find fulfillment and purpose and God blesses
us, our family, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers and others!

Ask yourself these Questions:

1. What do my habits related to my resources (working, spending, pursuing)
say to others (my spouse, my children, my friends, my neighbors) are the top
priorities in my life?

2. Is my perspective on finances leading me to any of the bad behaviors
(discontent, greed, indebtedness)?

3. Is my pursuit of financial resources pointing toward God and the path that
He has for my life?

4. What are 3 things I can start doing in the next 3 months to manage my
resources in a biblically based way?

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Application Questions

1. What stood out to you from this message and why?

2. What is one thing God is telling you to START doing because of this message?

3. What is one thing God is telling you to STOP doing because of this message?

4. How will this message change how you act at home, work and in the your relationships?