Looking for Joy in All the Right Places

Collin Hansen | May 18, 2011

David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times, specializes in making cultural observations that explain the nature of our motivations in business, politics, and ethics. He’s convinced that we pay far too much attention to the “outer mind,” which “hungers for status, money, and applause.” This is how we describe the world around us, admiring the wealthy, powerful, and talented.

But such achievements cannot make us truly happy, Brooks writes in his bestselling new book, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. Unlike the "outer mind," the “inner mind,” he argues, “hungers for harmony and connection—those moments when self-consciousness fades away and a person is lost in a challenge, a cause, the love of another or the love of God.” When we lose ourselves in service, in giving, in worship, we find true contentment.

We don’t have to read Brooks, though, to learn that fame and fortune cannot deliver on their promises. Indeed, Christians have read in their Bibles for centuries that profits in this world never satisfy when eternal ones are forfeited (Ecc. 5:10-12; Luke 18:18-30; 1 Tim. 6:6-10). Now Brooks presents us with the data to see it with our own…

To read the rest of this article, visit http://thegospelcoalition.org/article/looking-for-joy-in-all-the-right-places.