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What Does the Wall Street Journal Teach Us About Joy?–Part V

What does the Wall Street Journal teach us about joy? Nothing really, I suppose.

But it was one of those late-night flights ending my struggle to get home. I’d endured two flight delays, missed a connection, and gotten the last flight, one that would get me home just a few ticks before midnight–all of that well past my bedtime.

Somehow, I’d snagged a weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal as my travelling companion. Whether through travel weariness or by some mad concoction of Starbucks’ Peach Tranquility, the headlines began to swim into one prevailing question: So what?

Now, the weekend edition is thick. And it prescribes formulas for success. And even its font suggests something business-y about it. Fortunes won and lost are memorialized–stock market results, failed mergers and acquisitions, the state of the economy, the state of the world.

But really, so what?

A long time ago, Jesus described it this way: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8.36, ESV) Many might peruse the WSJ thinking that they’ll find valuable information for investments, deals, or just trends and directions of the world. There’s no doubt that is all possible.

But unless we look beyond the words on the page to the deeper meaning, it will all be for naught. Graham Kendrick described it this way in the lyrics to the song “Knowing You,”

All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own,
All I once thought gain, I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now, compared to this:

Knowing you, Jesus.
Knowing you, there is no greater thing…

Whether a Jesus follower or not, I think each of us must seek this answer like Søren Kierkegaard: “to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die.” And when I find that idea on which I’m willing to stake my life, it is there that I will find joy.


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About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. » Learn More. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously.

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