Today you should read: Ecclesiastes 4
We should clarify why we labor …
I love the book of Ecclesiastes. Some find it depressing, and I do too at times! But I value the fact that it speaks like the common man. It doesn’t present “super-spiritual” knowledge that I don’t feel I can live up to. The preacher writing this book just speaks plainly, in a way that we can all relate. I think that one of the reasons God gives us refreshing books like this and the Psalms is so we can feel the freedom to cry out freely to God and explain what we’re really feeling, without feeling the need to be “good enough.” We can be honest with God, and if we feel like everything is just pointless sometimes, God wants to hear about it.
This chapter, in particular, is great. It speaks of riches not being able to satisfy our heart, it speaks of the strength of unity (which we can relate to the importance of church), and it speaks of remembering to maintain humility and to seek wisdom, even amidst our success.
Today, I just want to focus on the end of verse 8. It says,
“… and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.”
I can relate to this verse. Growing up I watched as my family toiled and strived in a successful business. It provided for my family and by God’s grace still does in wonderful ways. But on the other side of this comes stress, always wanting to accomplish more, and a constant toil. I was privileged to be in a position to have the ability to step outside of this and ask “why?” “What is it for?”
I think from time to time it is healthy for all of us to do this. We live in such a busy world that we rarely step back, breathe, and ask ourselves about why we do what we do. Why do we strive? What are we hoping to gain? For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure? Is it for nothing? Is it for me? Or is it for God?
So maybe today we can ask ourselves these questions with the ultimate goal of making God and advancing His kingdom the central reasons of why we do what we do.
Posted by: Sam Cirrincione