Buying Happiness Without Money
PARCHED with thirst after walking a distance under the tropical sun, you arrive at a small village. To your delight you spot a sign advertising that cold drinks are available. But then you realize you do not have any money with you to pay for the refreshment.
Seeing your predicament, the storekeeper says, ‘Come on, buy the drink—it will not cost any money.’ Immediately, you feel deep gratitude for this kind offer. However, you ask, ‘How can that be? How can I buy without money?’
Buying Without Money
Fanciful though this appears to be, both Karel and Julian, mentioned on page 3, had such an experience. They had believed that money would bring them happiness. But as Karel explains: “A study of the Bible changed my view of money. It provided a hope of everlasting life in a paradise earth, something worth more than anything money can buy.” Former aspiring millionaire Julian relates: “I was well on my way to reaching my goal when I learned the truth from the Bible.”
Likewise, former supermarket operator Kiyoshi Tomomitsu from Japan used to put his work first, while caring for his family was only a “secondary interest.” He reasoned: “I thought I could make my family happy by providing sufficient material things for their future.” When asked what changed his view of money and material things, Kiyoshi answers: “Scriptures from the Bible, such as Proverbs 23:23, which says, ‘Buy truth itself and do not sell it.’”
‘But,’ you ask, ‘how can I “buy truth”?’
The Cost of Happiness
It will cost some of your time. ‘Buy out the opportune time,’ advises the Christian apostle Paul, ‘for the days are wicked.’ (Ephesians 5:15-17) Jehovah’s Witnesses in your locality will be pleased to arrange to talk with you about the truths from God’s Word, the Bible, at a time convenient to you, and this completely free of monetary charge.
Do you feel reluctant to ‘get involved’? If you do, then take heart from Jesus’ words: “Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled.” Directing his listeners’ attention to the means by which they could gain happiness, Jesus stated: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.” (Matthew 5:3, 6) This heavenly government, God’s Kingdom, is the sole authority able to grant you your “passport to happiness.”
What role, then, should money play in your life? Interestingly, the Bible offers practical guidelines on this.
Wise Use of Money Now
“Honor Jehovah with your valuable things,” counsels God’s Word. (Proverbs 3:9) Consequently, those who look to God for true happiness use their money in a way that pleases him. They aim to care adequately for their family’s material needs. (1 Timothy 5:8) They make honest provision for others who are related to them in the faith. And they also make voluntary contributions to support the work of providing spiritually upbuilding information in the form of Bibles and Bible-based publications, such as this magazine.
Knowing that God’s Kingdom will rid human society of its materialistic, selfish commercial elements, they avoid being sidetracked into pouring money into schemes that are already doomed to failure. (Daniel 2:44) “Having sustenance and covering,” they are content with a life-style that cares for life’s priorities.—1 Timothy 6:8.
Happiness Now—A Reality
“One of the first things I noticed on coming into contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses,” relates Sue from England, “was how those who lived by Bible principles, who were totally involved in their worship, seemed to have the things they needed.” Her husband, John, noted the same thing. He explains:
“It’s only because of knowing the Bible truths that I can see what is happening to most people. What they are working for is totally dependent on money. The Bible helped me to learn that happiness does not come that way. Now I realize that happiness is a by-product of doing things for others and that it is not an end in itself.”
John and Sue are just two among more than three million of Jehovah’s Witnesses who testify to the truthfulness of Jesus’ promise that when seeking first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness, all the material necessities “will be added to you.”—Matthew 6:33.
Are you searching for the thirst-quenching waters of truth? Whether affluent or poor, happiness can be yours by heeding God’s prophetic call: “Hey there, all you thirsty ones! Come to the water. And the ones that have no money! Come, buy . . . even without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1) This offer is still valid. Take advantage of it while you can.
[Pictures on page 10]
Happiness results from using money to provide for our families and to help others