What Makes You Happy

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


No Thing Will Make You Happy

If only I had…if only I drove…if only I wore…if only I knew…if only I won…then I would feel better about myself. Then I would be happy. 

We all think this, but is it true? Day after day, we try to accomplish goals, have clean houses, make it to every meeting on time, dress for success…the list goes on and on. But no matter how much we get right, how much we own, or how often we’re the best-dressed people in the room, we’re still not happy.

That’s because no thing is going to make us happy. Happiness is more about who than what.

If you look back on your childhood, you probably had many happy times, like when you were on the playground with your best friends or when you celebrated a birthday with your entire class. You were happy because, at the time, it didn’t matter what you had as long as you had friends and family around you.

You’ll have a similar mindset when you reach the end of your life. You won't long for the what. You'll long for the who—for better, healthier connections with others. That’s because peace in our relationships is what makes us happy.

We know this is true because we’ve all experienced the opposite. Have you ever been out of sync with your spouse or in trouble with your boss? When that relationship was in turmoil, were you happy? It didn’t matter what you owned, drove, wore, or accomplished; you probably couldn’t shake the unease that something was wrong in the relationship.

You simply can’t be happy if you aren’t at peace with the people around you. Perhaps this is why Jesus talked so much about loving others and making things right with them.

Take a minute to think about your relationships. Are you holding a grudge against a co-worker? Is there a secret you’re keeping from your spouse? Are you jealous of a friend? Try Jesus’ advice to “go and be reconciled to them.” You might discover that happiness comes from who, not what.