17 Nov 2013

The Freedom of Contentment

Religious 3 Comments

A commenter here (sorry I forget who posted it) brought my attention to this wonderful sermon, by Tim Keller in 2003. I strongly encourage you to listen to it, even if you are a non-believer; there is a lot of secular wisdom here.

For example, a little before the halfway point he says that the people who contemplate (or go through with) suicide are those who either (a) realize they are never going to achieve their life’s dream or (b) actually achieve their life’s dream.

This dovetailed with half of what I had stumbled upon myself. I was trying to understand why so many rock stars, movie stars, etc. are so messed up, when any type of “rational” model of humans would make you think they should be among the happiest. I had concluded that they were rich, famous, married to a movie star, etc., and they still weren’t happy. So the recognition of that would indeed drive you to kill yourself, either in one drastic act or over a period of years through destructive behavior.

Last thing, if you are the kind of person who really needs to hear this talk, I strongly encourage you to just go to a quiet spot and listen to it. I.e. don’t play it in the background while you’re doing housework or driving to the gym, just take 45 minutes and listen to it.

3 Responses to “The Freedom of Contentment”

  1. Gamble says:

    Was Judas saved?

  2. Dan Lind says:

    Is this the same Tim Keller who wrote _Generous Justice_?

    Review of the book in The American Thinker today, Nov 17.

    “How Generous Can Justice Afford to Be?”
    E. Jeffrey Ludwig

    The reviewer mentions von Mises and Hayek, mildly criticizing Keller for not mentioning them.

    From the review:
    “Although Keller speaks a lot about our patterns of giving, he seems insufficiently aware of economics. There is no mention of the Austrian school of economics. Ludwig von Mises or Freidrich Hayek are never mentioned. Of course, giving charity to our fellowman does not require a knowledge of economics, but for Pastor Keller “doing justice” is not the same as “giving charity.” If giving to the poor is not personal as with charity, then economics at the macro level must come into our decisions as individuals and as a society. Wishing it were not so will not make economic realities disappear.”

  3. Darien says:

    I’m not sure “still not [being] happy” is necessarily the issue; I’d say it has a lot to do with having achieved all your goals. Once you have nothing left to work toward, life can seem an awful lot like a long, pointless grind. As George Eastman put it: “my work is done — why wait?”

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