Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Blessed Trinity, be the peace, wisdom, strength and love I seek.
Read ECCLESIASTES 5:8—6:12
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16–18). Some helps for handling the struggles of life!
There are many ways in which the world I live in is hugely different from the world of the Teacher, but there are several remarkable ways in which the two worlds are the same. Chief among these is the naming of the greatest enemy of faith: a distorted view of wealth.
The Teacher is not interested in a faith that speaks only of the Temple and its rituals of worship. He wants a faith that also holds its own in the marketplace and has something to say about money. In 5:8–18 he describes at length—as a man who has himself known great riches—the futility of chasing after wealth. Loving money (5:10), losing sleep over money (5:12), hoarding money (5:13) and risking money to get more (5:14) are all seen as pointless activities. They change nothing. We leave the world as we entered it—naked and penniless (5:15). This is not the sour complaint of a poor man jealous of the rich. It is the testimony of a rich man who has plumbed the depths of wealth and found it shallow.
The alternative to this lusting after money is not the rejection of work and wealth. It is contentment, acceptance of your lot and the blessing of “enough” (5:18–20). Don’t be afraid of money, the Teacher advises, but don’t be ruled by it either. Be its master before it masters you. The truth is that wealth makes little difference to happiness. Tragedy and loneliness can strike the rich as the poor (6:2–4). Death will strike both (6:6). Those who always ask for more will never find it (6:7). The answer is to put an end to covetousness (6:8,9). It is not money that destroys us, but the love of it. Can we learn not to want what others have?
What priority does the pursuit of wealth and work have in your life?
God, teach me to be content with what I have and to be free of the love of money.
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