More Money = More Happiness

This is one of those “lies” we all want to find out for ourselves is actually a lie. Music, movies, and the world tell us that with more money comes more opportunity, more freedom, and more fun, but is that true? In this message, we see what Jesus has to say about money and how to break free from those golden handcuffs.

Message Transcript

Good evening, everyone, not only who's right here in this very room, but I just found out today there are 11 groups now. We're up to 11 groups that are meeting in other parts of the world right now together, not to mention everyone who's listening individually, whether you're driving, walking, wherever you are right now listening to The Porch and being a part of this thing. We're so glad you're here.

My name is Garrett. I get a chance to help out on staff here. I was at The Porch Fort Worth for the last four amazing years, so a special shout-out to my Fort Worth fam. I'm going to be helping out with the Awaken Conference going forward. If you don't know what Awaken is, you should press "pause" right now and go to awaken.live. That's not for you right here in the room, but if you're online or you're listening, awaken.live. It's going to be amazing next May. You can check it out.

Let's get started here tonight. Hey, are any of you diehards ready for Christmas already? I'm offended at all of you. I think Christmas belongs between the day after Thanksgiving and December 31. I know I just divided the room terribly. However you feel about the upcoming holiday, whether it should be celebrated now or in its proper place (just so you know where I stand), one thing is going on right now: little people, children, are going to be finding out that Santa Claus is actually not real, and that's very unfortunate.

Sorry to let you know in this moment. I know. For some of you, this is your least favorite childhood memory, where you found out that something you thought was so real and so important was actually a myth. It wasn't real. Some of you had this done really well. You had a gentle parent. They sat you down and were like, "Listen, honey. We need to tell you something because we love you." Some people break it to you really, really well.

Then some of you, more likely, had a know-it-all classmate whose parents had had that meeting with them, and then they came in and just crashed your worldview right there with no sympathy about it whatsoever. However you found out about it, it is never fun to believe that something is real, that something is worthy of your hope, that something is worthy of your trust and your pursuit, and then all of a sudden it starts to crash down.

I nearly had it happen to me recently. After I bought my girlfriend, now wife, a diamond ring to propose, one of my friends said, "Hey, I bought my wife's diamond ring from the same place, and I found out it was fake." I said, "Oh no. Santa Claus is real. You'd better believe it. There's no way." It turned out, thankfully, that it was actually not true, but it shook me. There's something disorienting and kind of crazy about feeling like, "The thing I thought was so real is actually a myth."

There is a myth in our culture, a very well-known myth that our society was built on. It is this myth: more money equals more happiness. The truth is that this myth that more money equals more happiness is older than the songs we grew up with. Our entire society was actually based on this idea: the more money you have, your happiness is going to increase with it, that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a way of life. Make no mistake about it. We would say that money is intricately tied to happiness.

Maybe the graph, if you could draw it, would look a little something like this. The relationship between these two things would work a little bit like that. The farther you push that way into money, the more money you can get, the more paycheck you can get, your happiness will climb with it. What's interesting is that our society has actually succeeded at that.

If you look at the aggregate culture of the United States as it relates to the rest of world history, yes, there are parts of America that are disadvantaged. No, not everyone in America seems to have the same fair opportunity we boast about. However, if you look at the numbers compared to the rest of the world, we are in the middle of a 200-year experiment, and we are richer than any society that has ever lived. Have you ever thought about that?

None of us feel rich. We don't seem to feel it. You're like, "Where is it? I don't have it." None of us feel it, but the truth is that at a national level, at a societal level, we are the richest society in the history of the world. However, we're also the most depressed. We're the most disillusioned. We're the most disappointed. It's as if instead of pushing farther out here, farther than any society has ever gone before, instead of finding some kind of permanent happiness or contentment, all we find is another exhausting goal.

We're the most mentally medicated country in the history of the world. To the rest of the world, America might look like Disneyland, but we're the kids who are sad at Disneyland, which will show you that not everything you need psychologically can happen through what you can have materially. It's as if even though we've pushed this experiment, this American dream, as far as it can go, it seems that there's not happiness out here.

As compelling as that might be, for some of you, I know this happens closer to home. For some of you, this pursuit of money broke up your family because a parent decided, "More money is going to equal more happiness." The truth is they took a job or they took a place where they had to travel, and it didn't lead to more happiness, at least not for you.

For some of you, this is the thing that has been the steering wheel of your life. This decides where you go. "Where is the money? Where is the paycheck?" For some of you, this is how you ended up in a Texas city. Your friends are like, "Why did you go there? Were there mountains?"

"No, there are no mountains."

"Was there a beach?"

"No, not really."

"Well, why are you there?"

You wouldn't say this out loud, but the truth is you're here to start your empire and make money, and that is going to make you feel good inside. The pursuit of money and happiness is naturally linked in our minds. I just want to shoot you straight. I have to admit I am susceptible to buying into this. I'm not immune to this. It's not like you get into ministry and you just want money less. You may have money less, but you will not want money less when you get into ministry. That is a normal part of human existence.

I just want to admit that up front. I don't want to be a hypocrite up here. I like opportunity that money offers. I like freedom that money offers. I like stuff. I especially tend to like vacations. I can get into a vacation in a hurry. My wife is like, "What happened to the bank account?" I'm like, "I don't know. I blacked out. We're going to Mexico. Praise God. It's going to be great." So I just want to tell you I'm not totally free from this. I don't profess to be.

What I do want to do is I want to introduce you to two different people in the Scripture tonight. They represent two perspectives about how happiness and money relate. They represent two future options for you. I believe, scripturally (you can be the judge), that you are actually going to turn into one of these two people you're going to meet tonight. Jesus interacted with them. As you see them face-to-face, you may see a little bit of yourself.

Here's the thing: none of us get to pick our list of options. I do believe biblically, and you can be the judge, that we get to be one of these two people. We are going to turn into one of these people. We are going to adopt their perspective about money, one of the two. We can't choose the list of options, but we can choose our choice. We can make our decision.

So, I'd love for you to meet these people. The first is found in the book of Mark. Mark is an accurate biography of Jesus. It's a story of Jesus. Mark saw via an eyewitness exactly what Jesus had said and done and records these conversations from Jesus' life. So here comes the first option. I'll give it to you straight up. You can do this with your life. You can love money, be moral… You know, a pretty good person. You're not a bad person.

You can love money, be moral, and miss Jesus. That can happen. Let's take a look at this guy who embodies that. Mark 10:17: "And as he [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man…" We would find out later in the story a very rich young man, the guy who has the tax bracket you want to be in. A very rich young man comes out and kneels before Jesus and says (moral language), "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

This is a moral man. We find out later in the story that he's rich, and he wants to be a good guy. Do you hear this in his question? He walks up to Jesus, title of respect: "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" He comes up to a good teacher and asks a good question, and the answer, of course, if you know the Scripture and you know the character of Christ, is not to be good but to trust in a good God. That's how you get eternal life.

Jesus responds playfully right here. He says, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." It's as if he's saying, "If you're going to call me good, then I must be God. Don't call me good, but don't call me God. Why would you call me good if I'm not God?" He says, "You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal…'" Be good, be good, be good, be good.

In other words, Jesus is saying, "If I'm not God to you, you're going to have to be really godly, and if I'm not good for you, if I'm not going to be your goodness for you, you're going to need to be really good." He says, "Teacher, I've kept all these from my youth." This is a rule-following person right here. This is not the guy who would have followed you to the party. This is the guy who would have avoided and looked down on you and been proud of it.

Some of you know this guy. Some of you might be this guy. This is the person who could not be swayed morally. He is locked in, he is obedient, and he believes he's doing his best, but he knows something is missing. It says, "And Jesus, looking at him, loved him…" Jesus looks at this young rich guy who thinks he's a good person and loves him. Look at what he does next. He puts his finger right on the one thing this good guy loves more than Jesus.

He looks right at him, knows everything about him. That's the thing Jesus can do that we could never do. It's not like we shake hands and look at someone and love them and know everything about their heart. We don't do that. We don't have the ability. But Jesus, looking at him, loves him. He knows all of his fears, all of his doubts, all of his insecurities, all of his ambitions, all of his loves, and all of his worships.

Jesus looks at him and loves him enough to do what he loves all of us enough to do, which is to go straight to the top of what he loves and say, "Hey, it has to be me instead of that now." This is what he says: "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.""Give away everything you have. Let it go." Some of you are like, "I'm at the wrong church. I can't do this. This is too much. I can't let go of everything I possibly own."

Jesus looks at him and knows that this is what the guy loves. He's attached to this. Jesus is saying, "Cash does not rule everything around me; I rule everything around me. I love you, and I want you with me if you'll come with me. So let go of the old love. Let go of the old driver of your life, the thing that has all of your affections, which is your money. Let go of that, and come with me, and you'll be rich, really rich."

The truth is Jesus does not always do this. This is not a rule. Some of you are like, "Phew!" This is not like the thing that everyone has to do, as far as their money is related, but what everyone does have to do is to let Christ be the number one love of their life. Not just a good teacher…a master and a treasure. Jesus walks right up to this guy and says, "Hey, you have a lot of treasure, but it ain't me, and it needs to be me. You can come with me. I want to replace that false love you've been chasing."

Here is his reaction. I want you to see it, because it's a real option for you. It's a real danger for you. It says, "Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful…" Your translation may say, "He walked away sad." "…for he had great possessions." Do you feel how distorted that is? Can you imagine being face-to-face with Jesus? You're face-to-face with God in a bod, in a human being, and he looks at you and loves you, and he says, "Hey, you can have me, and you'll be wealthy forever or you can hang on to the stuff you have right now."

This guy is sad, he's sorrowful, he's confused because he has so much wealth he can't get out of it. Do you see this guy? He has on golden handcuffs. It's like, "Oh, I'd love to follow you, Jesus, but I have so much stuff. I can't give it up." He's stuck by his own wealth. He's hooked. He's in a chase. He's on a treadmill. He can't get enough. He gets an invitation. Can you imagine the privilege? God coming all the way to earth to invite you to follow him?

Instead of saying yes, he gets led away by his loves, by his passions, by his worship, by what he wanted. You go, "Well, who would do that?" The answer is that you might. People do it all the time. It just might be a little bit less abrupt. It might not be as drastic as a face-to-face conversation where Jesus dramatically says, "Come with me," and you say, "No, thanks." It may not be that. It may be a more subtle series of trades down.

Like, if this is your thinking when you choose a job, if it's like, "What is the paycheck?" and you're about to sign on the dotted line but you forgot to hear the job description because you were excited about the paycheck, something is broken there. Something is distorted. Your decision-making has been tweaked a little bit by the love of money.

If you leave a job because you're like, "Oh, $5,000 more dollars. Say no more; I'm in," if you are bouncing around the workforce in that way, it is because something has to be broken. If that's the only factor being considered, if it's the lead factor being considered, something is off. Unfortunately, it doesn't just warp our decision-making as it relates to our jobs. The love of money distorts our decision-making as it relates to who to date, who to be with, how to choose a man, how to choose a woman.

You know you're under the influence of the love of money if he's a 2 and then he's a law student and he's baseline 7. He went from here, and it's like, Boom! He went really, really high. That's how you know something is off. Guys, for you, if the thing that is most important to you is you want to be a power couple and you're looking for this girl who has this long, amazing résumé and this amazing work life and her accomplishments and all this and not her character, something might be off there.

We're not immune to this in church. We'd like to dream that if we're following Jesus, if we're in church, if we're in Christ in any way and walking with him that we're kind of immune to that, but we're not. Our mindset can get so twisted and dark. In fact, let's take this another level deeper just for fun. If it just so happens that you're in this way of thinking… I know everyone is not, so please save the email. I promise I know everyone does not think what I'm about to say, but some people…

If you are in the struggle right now and you believe that money equals happiness, you might be tempted to think of men this way. You might be like, "Okay, look. I'm a Christian, so I need this dude to be spiritual, but I also need to be provided for, so I need someone who is rich." You might say the word stable because it sounds better, but you need someone who is rich. Basically, you have your spiritual factor and you have your rich factor.

Here's how you know if your thinking is broken. You have the guys down here who are neither spiritual nor rich, and that is the forbidden zone. There's no chance. You just don't even fly there. Then up here you have the guys who are spiritual but not rich, and we call that the friend zone. These are the guys you ask for advice from. These are the guys you hang out with, but they're not really an option for you. You know what I mean? You call it chemistry and stability, but it's that.

Here's my very favorite thing about this way of thinking. This is my very favorite thing about this graph. It seems that there's a white space out here that once you are rich enough it no longer matters how spiritual you are. You just live out here, and, eh, we'll work with you. It's like, "Oh, he has heard of Jesus. I'll invite him to church. I'll pray for him. We'll bring him more into my family than me going into his. We'll find some way to make this work."

I know it's playful and fun, and again, I just want to repeat, I am well aware that not everyone in here is thinking that way, but if you are stuck in thinking that money leads to happiness, this is just one little example of how you're going to make decisions. The golden handcuffs of you chasing wealth or even wanting wealth will take you away from wisdom in your life. It's not by accident that the Scripture says, "…wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her."

The desire for wealth will drag you away. Some of you go, "I am not rich. This is passing me by because I am not rich." Well, here's the truth: this is about affections, not possessions. You can miss Jesus in one of two ways. The world can give itself to you or the world can withhold itself from you. Either way, if you love the world more than Christ, you're done.

Christ wants better for you than this. If you want a better option, you should, and there is one. Here it is: invest money, be joyful, and have Jesus. The previous guy… In the very next sentence Jesus said, "How hard it will be for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God." Because he knows how this messes with our hearts. But there's another option: invest money, be joyful, and have Jesus.

I want you to see this. This is a little metaphor Jesus uses to introduce us to what the right reaction to Christ is, what the real reaction is, not just financially but in the heart. He introduces this little two-sentence metaphor in Matthew, chapter 13, and he introduces you to a different perspective, a different option, a different possibility for you, for your future, for your affections, for your heart, for your priorities. It goes like this.

Jesus says, "The kingdom of heaven…" Rather than Jesus interacting on this one, he's just going to explain a few things. He says, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field…" Like treasure, like something economically valuable, hidden in a field, hidden from you all those years when you never were able to find it. It says one day a man found it. He wasn't looking for it. One day a man found it, and he hid it again. "Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

The kingdom of heaven, Jesus and all that he offers, the chance to be with God and experience not just life in heaven but abundant life right here on earth… All of that is like something valuable that's hidden from you for a long time, but then you have the chance to find it, and when you find it… This man, this example doesn't walk away sad. It says he went into his life and made really expensive arrangements to arrange himself around the new priority, and he was happy about it. He was glad about it. He felt like he won.

So what's the lesson about money from this guy? First, no amount of money is worth as much as Jesus and all that he offers. No amount of money. If you think there's some amount of money, if you're like, "There are enough zeroes somewhere to satisfy me," there are not. There are not enough zeroes out there at the end of a paycheck, at the end of an inheritance. There is no such thing as any amount of money that is worth as much as Jesus.

This guy is just wandering along. He goes, "Oh!" Jesus says it's like if you were wandering along and found a treasure and went, "Well, this is where the treasure is, so I'm going to go give up everything I have so I can have this." It's as if he's weighing the scales in his mind. It's the same decision the guy in Mark 10 had to make.

Instead of weighing the scales and kind of going, "Uh, Jesus or all my stuff?" and choosing the stuff, sadly, and being like, "Well, I guess I'm committed; sorry," the guy just rushes off in his joy. He's glad, he's happy, and he knows he wins. He walks away knowing he won. He's dead broke. He has no arms full of money and two arms full of Christ, and he's like, "I win." In his joy he went and sold all he had.

What's the lesson about happiness? That having Jesus will actually make you happier than chasing money. That's different than just saying Jesus is worth more than money, because that's just a fact out there somewhere, but Jesus actually affects your emotions more positively than money. Do you see this happy guy compared to the sad guy who walked away and lost? Christ is fulfilling. Christ is everything our souls desire, and he has the effect on us that we're hoping money will do, only to wind up disappointed over and over again.

What is the lesson about reacting to Jesus? That it is normal to make inconvenient personal changes in reaction to Christ. I want to say that again. It is normal to make really inconvenient changes in reaction to Christ. If it's generosity in giving, I'm in. If it's a breakup, I'm in. If it's changing jobs, I'm in. If it's church membership, I'm in. This is what devotion sounds like. If it's letting my family think I'm crazy, I am in.

When we meet Christ, we do the thing the rich guy couldn't do: turn loose of whatever you have to turn loose of to get your arms around Christ. You need to know people really do this. If you feel like the only one and you feel like you're getting ready to make some crazy, radical step of obedience that just seems like you're going where no man or no woman has ever gone before, you just need to know people do this around you all the time.

They are rearranging their lives around Christ all the time. I was talking to my friend about this verse, and she said, "You know, I made this choice. I lived out that example, Matthew 13:44. I did that." She said, "That's me. I was living large. Jesus interrupted my life. I gave up a pretty good husband option. I knew my family would think I'd lost my mind. I knew my friends would think I had gone crazy and joined a cult, but I went and followed Christ anyway."

She works on staff here at the cult now. I said, "Did making that choice make you happy?" and she looked at me like, "Obviously. I'm fulfilled. I'm well. I let go of the golden handcuffs. I got them off of me, because wealth and everything that was involved in it, what I thought would make me wealthy, all of the decisions I thought would bring fulfillment to my life, I knew they were an illusion. I went after something real, and it changed me, fulfilled me."

That's a real experience. It's going on all around you. If you don't know what to do with your money, if you're there and you're like, "Give me something practical," like, "Give me something to do. What should I do with my money? I want to know what to do," here's what you should do. You should do everything you have to do to make sure you're the second person, that you take the second option, whatever it takes. That's what you should do.

I can't choose for you, and I know there's nothing I can do to convince you, and I know if you're committed to chasing money my words are only going to speed up your certainty that that's going to satisfy you, but if you're willing, if you have the ears to hear and the eyes to see the value of Christ, I want to plead with you. Make whatever choice you have to make to make sure you go the way of the second option, which is to invest money, to be joyful, and to love Christ, not to miss Christ because you were already prior committed.

It's so subtle and so dangerous. Whatever it takes. If you need to get away from shopping, get away. If you need to drop Amazon Prime (sorry I'm going there), get away. If you need someone else to see your paycheck so they can give you some guidance and accountability, let them have it. Add them to your bank account. Oh yeah. If you need to give money away just to prove to yourself that you're willing…

God doesn't need your money. God is not paycheck-to-paycheck. He doesn't need your money, but you might need to give some away just to prove to yourself that it doesn't own you, because the things you own might own you. If you need to get rid of some luxury item you bought, do it. One time I was in college. I saved up some money to buy a pair of shoes. I went to the mall. I'd been walking with Christ about two years, which is not long and not well, for the record.

I went in. I picked up these shoes. I got them. I like Air Force 1's, all white. That's just me. I'm not from North Dallas. I went and picked them up. I didn't have enough money to do it. It wasn't wise, and I knew it. I kind of felt uneasy. You know those moments where you're like, "Okay." It's not a face-to-face meeting with Jesus where he's saying, "Go right" and you go left. It's not that. It wasn't that clear. It wasn't that obvious, but I just felt a little uneasy in my spirit.

In this little insignificant moment of making this small purchase that I might have had a clear conscience about at any other time for whatever reason I was uncomfortable with. I walked away with the shoes. I paid for them, but I was walking away, and I was driving home, and I just knew. I'm like, "That was a disobedient thing. Every spending decision is a spiritual decision now. I'm walking with Christ now. Everything I do, every time I spend, every time I save…that's a spiritual choice now, and I just made a spiritual choice to enrich myself. I have shoes. It's okay."

So I turned around and took them back. The woman was like, "Wrong style?" and I was like, "No, I'm a Christian. I can't have this." No, I'm kidding. I didn't do that. Jesus doesn't want us walking around barefoot, but he does want us walking around in obedience to him, in the small things, in the big things. He wants to own your heart. It is this clear. I know some of you are like, "I'm not an option one or option two guy. Isn't there a middle road?" I will just tell you Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters." If you try, you've already picked your master. It's not him.

I want to finish by telling you a choice that my friend Eric made recently. Eric is a friend of mine. Eric came onto the leadership circle at The Porch in Fort Worth just recently, this month actually. A little backstory on Eric. Eric has only been walking with Christ for a few years now. He has known about Christ for longer than that, but what happened was he continued to move around with his job in a way that prevented him from having any stability.

He would move so often he said it was kind of like Vegas. He could wake up every morning and just be a new person to whoever was in front of him, because he was in a new place all the time, new people all the time. The job moved him to Hawaii, Sedona, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Orange County, Seattle, and Dallas. In every place, he woke up, did whatever he wanted, partying, sleeping around, drugs, alcohol. Whatever he wanted, that's where he was living.

At some point, he picked up Christ along the way. By the time he landed in Fort Worth, he decided to do something a little bit different. He decided to put down roots in a local church. He knew, and I've heard him say it over and over, that he needed to be receiving the love and care and counsel from other people, and he wanted to give that kind of love and care and counsel to others as well.

He needed people pouring into him and vice versa. He needed to experience community. He needed to experience guidance. He wanted to lead others and be led. So he dove into Watermark at Fort Worth, and his life just starts to change, quickly. Glaring sin just falling out of his life left and right, clear conscience, prospering in his relationships, building trust like crazy.

He called me the other day and said, "Hey, my job just offered me a big promotion, like two steps up, like words like executive thrown around kind of thing. They offered me a couple hundred grand, but it's not in Fort Worth. What should I do?" Some of you are like, "Dude, I know what you should do. They have churches everywhere. You go and tithe big if you need to. If it makes you feel better, you tithe big, but dude, you need to get on that."

He said, "I'm going to think about it." He called me back a few days later and said, "I walked in and told my bosses, 'Guys, I want to work hard for you. I want to build this company with you. I'm glad you believe in me even though I'm in my 20s and you want to bring me into your inner circle like that, but there are things in my personal life, my spiritual life, if you want to know, that are holding me here. I have some spiritual momentum in my life that I've never had before, and I can't leave that. It's worth more.'

In other words, my priorities aren't for sale. They're not for purchase. I can't be bribed or bought. I know that's not what they were trying to do, but I can't be swayed from the course that I'm on. God is doing a good thing in me right now. Maybe it might even be right for some other person to receive a promotion and receive a massive raise and go and do that thing in that new place. That might be totally freedom for them, but that's bondage for me, and I'm staying right here, because I don't want to be hasty to leave the presence of the King."

I said, "Well, congrats, Eric. You're rich, way richer than the people who are still playing this game. If they had added two zeroes and offered you again and you said no, you'd still be rich, because you know what leads to life. You know that Christ is worth more than everything else. Even though Christ is in every place, you know, according to him, that he has you in this place, and you were willing to walk in that obedience, even though it was expensive."

This is how we take over the world in the name of Christ, friends. Did you know that every week over 30,000 people listen to The Porch? You go, "What do you do with 30,000 people?" I'll tell you what you do. You show up to work, with your friends, in social situations, and instead of striving you show up content. You show up satisfied. You show up fulfilled in Christ already so that you aren't on the rat race treadmill of trying to get more like everybody else is.

Eventually, those heads will turn one at a time, in the hallway and at holidays, with your family, one text message at a time, and they'll go, "What is it with you? What do you want?" You say, "I have what I want. I have Christ. I don't need anything else." I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I'm not telling you Jesus wants you to quit your job and money is not important. I don't want to downplay the whole thing.

You need to be a member of society. That probably means having a job at this point, but it's not going to fulfill your soul. It might steal it if you're not careful. Christ says even though it's hard for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of heaven… He says with man this is impossible, but with God it's possible. I want that miracle for you and for me tonight, that we wouldn't miss the kingdom of heaven, not just on a permanent basis regarding heaven.

I'm talking about missing the kingdom of heaven that we get to participate in right now if we're willing to make obedient, careful, alert choices to our real Master, because we can't serve two. That doesn't work. If we do, all across this nation and this world people will start to rise up who say, "I don't need more; I have enough. What I need more of is purpose. What I need more of is God. What I need more of is love in my heart so I can extend it to other people. That's what I need more of."

When you have that, you are rich. The Scripture says, "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Godliness with contentment is great gain. Not godliness with a killer résumé. Godliness with contentment is great gain. If you want to get ahead, try contentment. See what God does for you. Let's pray together.

God, do the miracle in our hearts that we're not strong enough to do ourselves. Help us fall out of love with our possibilities and our freedom and our shoes and all of the things that come out of our hearts. Will you detach our love and our worth and our affections from our possessions, the ones we have or the ones we just want? Help us want you. God, we're here, and our prayer is we want a new want. We want you. We want to represent you.

Thank you that you love us enough to look right at us and say, "Hey, that thing you love more than me? That one has to go." Whether it's money or relationship or a habit or an addiction or some piece of bitterness, whatever it is that we have, you look us right in the face, God, and you tell us, "That has to go so I can be number one where it matters." God, help us to honor you in every single way. In Christ's name, amen.

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