What a waste

Ecclesiastes 6:1-6

I need to fix my CD player.

Now, I stream music all the time, but that can’t beat the sound quality of a good CD. It’s been some time now that my device hasn’t worked. That’s not the end of the world, I know. Without it, though, how can I listen to my nine hundred CDs?

Yes, I own enough CDs to play music every second of the day probably for multiple years. In and of itself, that’s not a worthy life accomplishment. Couple in the fact that I don’t play them at all now makes it even more insignificant.

Speaking of insignificance, let’s talk about the riches of life.

You could read Ecclesiastes 6 and think the teacher wants you devote your life to spending money. That’d be an unfortunate reading, of course. The teacher wants us to know that our fortunes are for someone else to divvy up when we’re gone. So, yes, on one hand, enjoy them now while you can. But also know an empty life is often full of stuff. When we waste our lives working for more and more, we find we live less and less.

Jesus taught that warning, too. He said, “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15). By our standards, the people who listened to Jesus and read Ecclesiastes first were poor. How many possessions could fill a small-room house where multiple people lived? That goes to show the temptation to fill our lives with possessions is strong for everyone.

Many of us know the quote from John Wesley: Earn all you can, save all you can and give all you can. Every part of that is a struggle for a lot of Christians. Wesley wasn’t encouraging us to waste our lives away to make more money. He taught to use your abilities in sensible ways to take care of your family and yourself. Saving feels like an impossibility. And we all know how people feel about sermons on giving.

But Wesley’s teaching helps us understand Ecclesiastes. Don’t spend your life working and working for more and more just for the sake of it. It’s a lost cause. You’ll find that you’ll leave so much of true value on the shelf. And what good is it if you can’t even do good with it?

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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