Search Google for the keywords “money” and “happiness” (or unhappiness), and you’ll find polar differences in opinions. There are those that, from experience, realize that money and the things it can buy really do not “make” people happy. I realize this more every day when I read online posts by those intent on having the latest mobile phone. I’ve been reading and contributing to a few sites for enough years to know that every year, those that felt that the latest and greatest would make them happy are, just a few months or maybe a year later, dissatisfied and no longer happy with their phone. It is not that their current phone is defective, it is just not the latest/greatest on the market.
People of that sort actually demonstrate the truth of the statement that money and the things it can buy do not, cannot, and will not ever buy real/true happiness. If a person were truly happy with what they have, they wouldn’t become so quickly and easily discontented. It really is a vicious cycle that is akin to a dog chasing its own tail—even if it catches itself, it eventually has to let go in order to catch it again. (Admittedly, in my own experience, my happiness with a product lasted up to the point that the next model came along.)
In contrast to this is Jesus’ observation that insatiable greed does nothing to extend a person’s life. Hence, the Bible advises true Christians to be free of the love of money. Contentment is one real key to true happiness that is not short-lived. Once a person realizes that chasing the never-ending, insatiable desire for the “next best thing” actually doesn’t have any ability to make one truly happy, they can start to live a contented life.
However, does being content mean that you will never want to treat yourself? No, it doesn’t. But the difference is akin to a donkey being led by a carrot dangled on a stick in front of its face as opposed to a donkey being fed at the appointed meal time. Is what we want just desire built by marketing or is it something we truly need and can put to use?
Based on the two aforementioned scriptures, mature Christians should weigh carefully why they feel they need and how they will be benefited by whatever it is they have their eyes set on.