You’d think that with our increased mobility and online shopping increasing our buying options, consumers would be much more grateful for their purchases. Instead, the excessive range of choices is making it harder and harder for people to find pleasure in their purchases. The reasons for this are:
Psychologists such as Jessica Colman call such agitated consumers “Maximizers.” They “strive to make the absolute best decision, ‘I must find the perfect…’ They are always looking for the next best thing, and spend a great deal of time and energy making choices. Maximizers also tend to have more depression, regret, and anxiety.” Maximizers maximize the deal but minimize satisfaction in it.
In contrast, “Satisficers” maximize satisfaction. They don’t strive for the best possible deal but can accept something as “good enough.”
While someone who maximizes might obtain an objectively better outcome, they will be subjectively worse off, and less satisfied with their choice. By embracing and appreciating satisficing, and attempting to intentionally cultivate it, people have less regret and more peace of mind.
To become a better “satisficer” Julia Colman recommends:
Just like yesterday, some helpful practical tips to help us learn “in whatever state I am, to be content,” (Phil 4:11) and “in every thing to give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18).
How does a church decide what to pay a pastor?
“There are often several factors considered: (1) full-time vs. part time, (2) level of education, (3) location of church in the country, i.e. local economy, (4) average income of the membership, (5) level of responsibility, (6) cost of replacement of personnel.”
R.C.Sproul’s Crucial Question’s eBooks now Free
Here’s a great college preparation course for teens. Good for the rest of us too.
An Open Letter to the Church of Scotland
Which has just said that everyone should drive on the right side of the road…unless someone wants to drive on the left side. Or something like that.
SAP in Autism Recruitment Drive
German software company SAP says it hopes to recruit hundreds of people with autism, saying they have a unique talent for information technology….SAP executive Luisa Delgado said the company believed that “innovation comes from the edges”. She added: “Only by employing people who think differently and spark innovation will SAP be prepared to handle the challenges of the 21st Century.”
How far can we go?
“How far can we go… and still be seen to obey the law?” This is the Pharisaic question that is asked by every teenager at the youth group ‘Sex and Relationships’ talk. It is not a Christian question. The Christian asks, “How far can we go… in applying the good law of God in our lives?”
The Songs of the Son Seeing
Nick Batzig helps us to see Christ in the Psalms.
Tim Challies and I and a good number of others are going through R.C.Sproul’s course on the Old Testament’s Prophets, Poetry, and Wisdom Literature. Week-by-week we are recording a podcast to share our thoughts and answer some questions.
In this week’s podcast we look at Psalms and Ecclesiastes. And yet more baby-talk.
Research shows that gratitude is a powerful force for creating positive changes in individuals, families, and organizations. In fact, according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a research professor of psychology, “The expression of gratitude is a kind of metastrategy for achieving happiness.” Some of the more detailed findings, published in books like The Happiness Advantage, Flourish, and Optimal Functioning, are:
In The Happiness Project, the best-selling biographical experiment in positive psychology, Gretchen Rubin explains the benefits of increased thankfulness in her own life:
Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you’re grateful for what you have, you’re not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others. Gratitude fosters forbearance – it’s harder to feel disappointed with someone when you’re feeling grateful toward him or her. Gratitude also connects you to the natural world, because one of the easiest things to feel grateful for is the beauty of nature.
We can increase gratitude in our lives by intensifying the feeling of it for each positive event, by increasing the frequency of it throughout the day, by widening the number of things we’re grateful for, and by expressing gratitude to more people. Some positive psychologists, like Jessica Colman, also encourage the practice of “savoring” which has three phases:
In Flourish, Martin Seligman identified four kinds of savoring:
Some more practical activities for increasing gratitude are explained in Optimal Functioning:
As far as I know, none of these positive psychology experts have Christian faith. And yet God is using them not only to confirm the Bible’s teaching about giving (of thanks) making us happier than receiving (Acts 20:35), but also to work out the practical details of how to increase gratitude in our lives for everyone’s benefit.
It’s the kind of thing that makes us wonder how unbelievers sometimes seem to have more understanding of biblical principles than Christians! But the Apostle Paul helps us make sense of this. He says that when unbelievers, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, they show the work of the law written in their hearts (Rom. 2:14-15).
Writing and Reporting Advice from 4 of the Washington Post’s Best
A gold mine of bullet points gathered by Roy Peter Clark from a conference featuring David Finkel, Bob Woodward, DeNeen Brown, and Ezra Klein. And here’s four further suggestions on writing well from Justin Taylor.
Hell Awakened Me
Joe Thorn explains how God used the doctrine of Hell in his life before he was converted. Solemn joy in his conclusion: “Do not forsake the doctrine of hell and God’s justice, my friends. There is no good news apart from bad news. And until a man or a woman tastes the bitterness of their sin and feels the weight of the just judgment of God they will never find the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be sweet and liberating. Give ‘em hell, and give ‘em the gospel”
An Unhealthy Focus in much Christian Literature
Brief post. Big Point. Mike Leake sums up his concerns: “Let’s celebrate redemption at the same time we cry out for further rescue.”
Why cities matter: A review
I don’t usually link to book reviews, but this is an important one, not so much for the book that’s reviewed but in the sloppy thinking and writing that the review highlights. No one likes to write such reviews, but they do push writers and editors to higher standards.
A biblical and scientific Adam
Dr. Vern Poythress issues a challenge to evangelicals who have backed away from an historic Adam, using a theologically informed look at ape ancestry genetic claims.
Parents: Do you think before you post?
“Do we miss the truth that our families need our discretion far more than our blog followers need our authenticity?” And on the subject of social media, here’s an infographic on how teens communicate.