Augustine Birrell was the Secretary of State for Ireland in the closing days of the 19th century. He and his wife happened to be driving through London one day and drove past a mansion. The mansion was so impressive that it took their breath away. Mrs Birrell looked at the mansion enviously and asked her husband who owned it. She said to him, “Whoever owns that mansion must be a very happy man.”
Her husband informed her that it was owned by Barney Barnato, who was at that time one of the world’s richest men. Augustine Birrell said to his wife, “Perhaps for all his wealth, he is not happy.”
He was indeed correct, for it was later revealed to them that at that very hour, Barney Barnato had committed suicide. He had jumped overboard from a ship travelling from South Africa.
Many people foolishly think that material possessions can bring happiness.
True and lasting happiness is not to be found in any material possession, but in seeking first the kingdom of God.
Jesus said, in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
In Mark 8 36-37 Jesus said “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”