Casey Johnson is just the latest reminder:

Casey Johnson, the socialite daughter of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and heiress to the Johnson & Johnson business empire has died, a spokesman for the family and police said. She was 30. reported that Johnson was found dead Monday. Police officers responded to her Los Angeles home around 11:51 a.m. where paramedics had already pronounced Johnson dead, officer Sara Faden said.

Most of the commentary centres on the fact that she was a lesbian, but for me the fact that she was an heiress is most significant.

There’s a school of thought out there that, if you have wealth, you have it made.  That’s the underpinning behind a lot of things in this country.  If we are rich, we are told, we are happy and successful.

But it doesn’t always work out.  As a Palm Beacher, I found that out first hand, with my own schoolmates.  Many of them, with famous names and inherited fortunes, had miserable lives, many of which have been cut short (and the money that fuelled them usually runs out first.)  The principal culprit in the shortened lifespan is drug and alcohol abuse.  Wealth bought many things, but it could not fill the void of an empty life.  Filling it with sex, drugs, rock and roll and alcohol only put toxic substances into the shell which ate away at it until it too was gone.  Throwing money at the problem with rehab didn’t work because a) a lot of rehab doesn’t have victory as an objective and b) when you’re rich, it’s easier to say no to any form of help.

We can lust after wealth all we want and achieve it, but as long as Jesus Christ does not reign in our lives we are empty.  Once that is done, then we have the following:

Do not then ask anxiously ‘What can we get to eat?’ or ‘What can we get to drink?’ or ‘What can we get to wear?’ All these are the things for which the nations are seeking, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But first seek his Kingdom and the righteousness that he requires, and then all these things shall be added for you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

To see what happens to people like Casey Johnson grieves me.  But it can be fixed: