Does money buy happiness? Yes… well… sort of…

Gallup just did the largest worldwide survey of it’s kind on the subject of happiness. For the first time, they have a global perspective on happiness and feeling good about oneself.

Yes, money does buy happiness, they conclude. Surprised? Well hold on, because their research led them to discover a difference between plain ol’ perceived “happiness” and what they call “feeling good.”

A snippet:

Although money also influenced emotions, the effect was much weaker. Both positive and negative emotions tended to be affected much more in relation to other psychological and social factors, such as feeling respected, having autonomy, strong social support and working at a fulfilling job.

This study found that most people were quick to relate “happiness” to how well off they were financially. This survey dug deeper to ask people about positive feelings like laughter and enjoyment.

I don’t want to rehash the whole article. I encourage you to read Washington Post’s entire summary of the study. Fascinating stuff.

I think the conclusions testify to the fact that some temporary thrills (money & “stuff”) are indeed “thrills.” But they eventually live up to their name, “temporary.” In the end, people are looking for something so much more. Something that lasts.

Hmmmmm… if that isn’t a Gospel message waiting to be preached… I don’t know what is. (more on that in the comments below)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to Does money buy happiness? Yes… well… sort of…

  1. Jeremy says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    I’ve been reading your blog and using your website for helpful youth resources for about a year now. I’m a youth pastor in Tampa, FL and I want you to know that I enjoyed this article. What I find crazy (and surely a God-thing) was that my lesson with my kids last night was on the difference between “happiness” and “joy”. I explained that happiness is often temporary and ever-changing. However, joy is something the Bible talks about being a constant, unshakeable sense of happiness that can only come from God. We had a good time discussing it with the kids.

    Love your blog…and thanks for your insights. They truly are helpful.

  2. Thanks Jeremy. I’m glad the article was a help.

    I love taking kids through the Beattitudes (Matt 5) to look at the difference between joy and happiness. Every one of those “attitudes” starts with blessed is the… which pretty much means “oh the joy of…”

    There is nothing more truly fulfilling than a relationship with our creator who gives us the ability to “be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil 4:11) and provides a “peace that transcends all understanding.” (Phil 4:7)

    I just told the kids I’m speaking to this week. “Happiness depends on happenings to happen. When happenings don’t happen the way you want them to happen, you aren’t happy.” That’s a sad way to live life. (It’s sunny… I’m happy! Oh… it’s raining. I’m sad.)

    Fun life lessons.

    Thanks again brotha!