Thursday, 27 January 2011

Money or life

Mark Shead writes a website with blog called productivity501.

As far as I know he has no particular Christian concern, but in this post he talks about his decision to say no to a large amount of financial wealth, and why he did so.

From the post, his obvious (to Christians) conclusion:

A big bank account won’t provide the same amount of happiness you’ll get from spending time with the one person you decided you’d rather be with than anyone else. A bigger paycheck is poor compensation for missing out on raising your kids.

Mark's major concern, happiness, is not a bad one, and his chosen way of pursuing it makes sense. For Christians, happiness is not particularly important, but godliness is:

Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment

From here.

Incidentally, Mark Shead is the man who put me onto dropbox, which saves me the most inordinate amount of time and anxiety in my daily desire to stay organized and make sure I don't lose data. Click through and use, my friends!


Mark - Productivity501 said...

Glad to hear you are enjoying DropBox.

Thanks for your post. It is always great to read people's opinions of things I've written. I really appreciate that you found it worth sharing with your readers.

Gordon Cheng said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for dropping by. It's true, you were the man who put me onto dropbox, and you are helping me think through all sorts of other things, like why it is that while I like being happy, it has no great importance to me.

If you ever come by Sydney I will buy you a long, tall glass of orange juice by way of partial thanks.

Mark - Productivity501 said...

I think happiness is a symptom of doing things right. If you set out to be happy, it is going to be hard if not impossible to achieve. However, if you get your priorities straight and put the most important things first, then happiness will follow.

Gordon Cheng said...

Hi Mark,

Yes, I think that is in many ways a very healthy way to think about it.

My own view, speaking with my Christian hat on, is that making the right decisions will lead me into painful and even fatal suffering. I like happiness as much as the next man, so you can probably understand why that prospect causes me some concern. But I'm trying to take seriously the call Jesus made, here.

My reluctant reading of that is that pain lies ahead!

Mark - Productivity501 said...

I don't think that pain or hardship is synonymous with unhappiness. There are a lot of people with few problems who are unhappy. There are a lot of people with much suffering that are very happy.

After Paul and Silas cast the demon out of the slave girl, they were beaten and thrown into jail. Right before the earthquake they were singing. I'm pretty sure they weren't comfortable and they were probably in quite a bit of pain, but I don't think I'd say they were unhappy.

My point is that doing what is right is probably going to lead to happiness--even if it is painful.