I’ve always heard, “You can’t buy happiness.” But this morning I was scrolling through potential apps for my NookHD+ and I came across this:
And not only can I buy happiness, but I get another app free.
When I started writing this post I wanted a graphic of the old happiness quote, so I went searching. I found countless quotes suggesting you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy something (chocolate, bikes, coffee, books, or tea…and those were the family friendly options…) that’s pretty close to it. Most of them were cute and maybe a bit tongue in cheek, but this one really troubled me:
The problem with happiness is that it is typically associated with a particular circumstance or emotional response to an experience. What God promises is something far deeper and way more lasting: joy. That’s why James could write: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4, NIV)
We don’t need an app or a t-shirt to help us find joy. And we certainly don’t need to steal it.
As Jesus was facing his final hours, he prayed. John records it in his gospel (see John 17). In that prayer, Jesus spoke to God. But he did it so the disciples could hear. He said, 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. (John 17:13, NIV)
And what was this joy Jesus was speaking about? Knowing God. Being in relationship with God.
There is no app for that. No one or no thing can take the place of making that relationship happen for us. Just us…and God. Truth is…it’s already been bought and paid for. It’s yours and mine for the asking and the living.