“People want a warm home, a refrigerator, a TV, someday a car, and a cellphone,” said William Colton, Exxon’s vice president for corporate strategic planning. Financial consultant Larry Burkett once noted that many clients said if they only had twenty percent more income they could live comfortably. Sadly, many of those he observed whose income increased still felt they needed about twenty percent more. John D. Rockefeller, when asked what would make him happy, is said to have replied, “One dollar more”. The funny thing is no matter how much a person makes, it seems never enough to satisfy.
If your new year’s resolution is to make more money, you might think about why you feel that way. If the reason is to be happy, a different resolution may make more sense. Prosperity may be more the result of following God’s moral guidance than hard work alone.
A growing number of people believe the growth of poverty and income equality in America can be traced to the breakdown in family. Social scientists have long recognized the correlation between illegitimacy and a host of social pathologies—especially crime and educational failure. These two lead to a multigenerational cycle of poverty.
If William Colton is correct in his observations of what people want and social scientists are correct in what they see as one of the single largest roadblocks to prosperity, then the simple answer is found in the Bible; one man joined together with one woman for a lifetime. The closer reality is to this truth the more opportunity exists for financial prosperity to grow.
The bigger picture is to work hard and keep your commitments when people are looking and when they are not. That is called integrity. Without it genuine happiness will not be found even if financial prosperity is.
First Bank in Siloam Springs hosted a Chamber of Commerce event early in December called “First Friday Coffee”. The content of a glass piggy bank was the premier door prize to be awarded to the one most accurately guessing the value of its contents. Five names were drawn and awarded the opportunity to guess. The piggy bank was then taken to a counting machine and an attendee was sought to oversee the count. Who would everyone present feel comfortable to represent them? Trustworthy Art Morris was the immediate reply of the group. I pondered why this retired yet still active leader in the community was the instant crowd favorite. My conclusion is that his faith, his integrity, his care for others, and his business acumen align.
Experience teaches not everyone who has this alignment is financially prosperous. It does, however, lead to happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment. It is a pattern of living worthy of a New Year Resolution!