Consider millionaires—people who could essentially have anything they desire. Such is the case in the story of Jonathan Wraith, a young British millionaire. To the outside world, he had everything he could ever want. But in 2009, he shot himself with his own shotgun, leaving no suicide note. Why? He had everything he could ever want, right? The answer to that question can only be “yes” if you look at his life from a worldly point-of-view. Now before I go any further, let me state that I did not know Mr. Wraith personally, so I am generalizing when speaking about him as a millionaire. Physically, he had everything he could ever want, and it still wasn’t enough to stop him from taking his own life. Thus, to anyone reading his story, it would seem there is something far greater to this thing we call life that Mr. Wraith—and others like him—didn’t seem to grasp.
It was as though the mindset I discussed in the first paragraph continued to dominate his way of thinking. And when things in his life that were out of his control went wrong (it has been speculated that he was consumed with worry over his father’s recent stroke) and money could no longer buy his happiness, he seemed to miss a very significant truth—that the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE is in control. And when people miss this truth, they fail to trust in the one who never has and never will forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). If Mr. Wraith had placed his hope in things that are eternal according to 1 Corinthians 13:13 (faith, hope, and love) or in God (as 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love), and not in that which is temporary, I dare say he would still be living. Why? His perspective on life’s circumstances would have been different.
With that said, let me ask this: how often do you allow your priorities to get out of order (exchanging temporary for eternal) and thus develop the mind-set of thinking just one more thing will make you happy? If we’re honest, the answer to this question is probably higher than many of us would like to admit. However, because of the fall of man, it is typical of us. It is because we give in to our flesh’s desires that we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Yet, in the following verses (24-26), the hope we have in Jesus Christ is explained: “And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” John 3:16 says it this way—“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” THAT is grace—the free and unmerited gift of eternal life to us who mess up countless times each day.
I’ll leave you with this. Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” So I challenge you, next time you believe having one more thing will make you happy, 1) think about how many times you’ve said that before and 2) check your priorities. You’ve already been given the best gift you could ever be given—the one that, though it does not always promise to be an easy path, is the one that will change your perspective and ultimately bring you true happiness. It is up to you to accept it.