Happiness vs Joy

An email from She Works His Way and the quote on the second slide about millennials by Jordan Raynor resonated with me so much today. It’s not just millennials though; it’s just worse for them because of the number of choices they have. There have been studies showing that the more options we have, the less satisfied we are with our choice. Reason being is that we second-guess whether we should have picked one of the other options. We can’t fully be satisfied and what we have because were thinking about whether the other option would have been better.

Think about it. If you had a choice between an apple and an orange, you probably would have a very easy time choosing. People tend to be in one camp for the other. But now think about choosing between a apple, an orange, strawberries, some grapes, a banana, a pear, a mango, some watermelon, a kiwi, some cantaloupe, or honeydew, or blueberries, or kumquats… etc. There’s all these variables in the mix as to which you would prefer. How ripe is the mango? How sweet is the watermelon? Are the grapes red or green? Are the strawberries fresh? Is the pear soft? Is the banana green or yellow? Now the answer to all of these questions plays a role in what would be your top choice. Problem is that you don’t know the answers because you can only choose one. Once you’ve chosen, you’ll wonder how all the other options would’ve turned out. You can’t even enjoy what’s in front of you because you’re too busy worrying about what you didn’t get.

So here’s the problem with telling someone that they can have anything they want. They don’t know what they want! They don’t know what is best for them! You think you know what is best for you, but in hindsight you recognize that some of the best things for you have been some of the worst things you’ve gone through.

And in a world where we can trade in our car, divorce our spouse, find a new job, build a bigger house, and make all kinds of other major life changes with an ease like never before, it’s no wonder we’re not satisfied with what we have.

I know that this sounds quite the opposite of encouraging, but there is a solution. Instead of focusing on pursuing what makes us happy (because it might feel good in the short term but leaves us empty in the long term), we need to do 2 things:

1️⃣Understand our value in Christ and rest confidently in that truth.

2️⃣Focus on adding value to those around us based on the power that arises from that truth.

Why? Because feeling like we add value to the world and knowing our value in Christ is satisfying like nothing else. If you meet the end of your day knowing that you’ve accomplished those two things, you won’t question if you should’ve done things differently. It won’t matter the exact details of what you have done that day if the outcome was those two things. The choices that you make, when passed through that filter, will always leave you full, satisfied, and grateful. Happiness is dry, ever-elusive, and barren, but joy saturates and impregnates everything.

Check out Jordan’s book Master Of ONE here.

How can I pray for you/your mindset around these things? Let me know 👇🏼 or shoot me an email here ♥️


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