Two years ago Sandra Bullock won the academy award. Then weeks later came the news her husband was a philanderer. So, here’s a question for you: Would you accept that deal? Would you be willing to achieve professional acclaim if you would also endure a broken personal relationship?
If you had to think about that for more than a few seconds, you’ve got a problem! And I’m not just preaching to you. For the past generation, researchers have been studying happiness and they have found that marital contentment is more important than any other human factor in determining our overall level of happiness. If you have a happy marriage you can endure all kinds of setbacks and be reasonably happy. If you’ve got a miserable marriage it doesn’t matter how well the rest of your life goes.
While the relationship between money and contentment is complicated, that between relationships and contentment is not. The sad fact is that most people focus on the wrong things. Most people vastly overestimate the extent to which money would improve our lives. This is true in our individual lives and our politics. Today everything is about economics. Only the numbers matter. But, as Albert Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” Jesus put it this way, “You cannot serve God and money.”
Are we focused on building a better world?..a world where people matter? That is our Christian vision: to love God and your neighbor. We are even commanded to love our enemies. That is how important people are. People are worth dying for.