I once read about a young couple who got married and held a wedding reception that was anything but traditional. Instead of hosting a formal dinner, they held a reception at the church and invited their guests to help distribute food to people in need. They wanted to begin their marriage with an act of service to Christ. Accordingly, they figured out how much money an extravagant reception would cost, then used that amount to purchase 5,000 pounds of food for those in need.
The week of the wedding, they spread the word that a truck with free food would be at the church. Right after their vows, they put on aprons marked “Bride” and “Groom” and joined their wedding guests in distributing food to one hundred needy families. When asked about why they did it, they said, “We wanted to bless God for blessing us with each other.”
Paul wrote to Philemon in vs. 7 of the book that bears his name and said, “...you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” That’s not a bad thing to be remembered for, is it? Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of people inherit money, and guess what? Ninety-nine percent of them tended to become more indulgent and less generous. When was the last time you heard anybody say, “I hope they leave me some money so I can give it away.” Nope, me either.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not opposed to nice things. I just think we should measure wealth not by the things we have, but by the things we’d take no amount of money for.
Some people define a happy life by being able to acquire things they need and want… but here’s a better life: a meaningful life. And a meaningful life is best achieved by giving, sharing, and serving. So here’s the million-dollar question: What’s your goal—happiness, or meaning? How you define that will determine your joy, friend. It may even determine your destiny.