Today’s reading is drawn from Ecclesiastes 9:1-10.
SO HOW ARE WE supposed to live? How do we spend our days now that we’ve read what Solomon has writ-ten? That’s the question we ask toward the end of Ecclesiastes. Solomon has removed all the props from our lives, taking away materialism, hedonism, humanism, and fatalism. What’s left?
What remains is the fact that God has given you a life full of potential! He intends for you to live it (1) free of guilt; (2) contagiously happy; (3) committed to God and, if you have one, to your marriage; and (4) thoroughly invested with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength in God’s glory. Whatever you do—whether it’s a hobby, a vocation, a pastime, a volunteer position, or ministry, or homemaking, or just plain play—do it well (Eccl. 9:10).
Are you married? Build your marriage with all of your might. Do you have a challenge in front of you? Tackle it head-on. Does your future seem unsure? Walk into it full bore, knowing that God will never leave you in the lurch. Are you facing an unexpected move? Do you have a situation that’s uncertain? Move forward without fear! God is already there.
The Lord intends for us to live life with contagious enthusiasm! God gives us exciting moments of fun and happiness. Why not enjoy them? These include everything from eating delicious food in celebration to enjoying a wife or a husband. We are free to dress up for special occasions, laugh out loud, and enjoy God’s blessings as they rain down on our heads. We can take on life with a positive attitude, trusting in the power of the Spirit of God so much that we truly enjoy our work and our future and our leisure. Life is meant to be lived on the cutting edge.
Now, I know what the other side says, because I said it for a long time. In fact, I know I run the risk of being misunderstood, especially in conservative circles. For some reason, some people think we’re supposed to come down hard on others. We’re supposed to pile on the guilt and warn people against the excesses of life. Furthermore, we’re to remind them to stay away from all pleasures that might lead to sin. That’s not balanced. I think we have plenty of warnings and reminders. But I bet you can count on one hand the number of times someone has told you to enjoy life as a child of God. If I were to count, I would have fingers left over. The results of such imbalance? We often live our lives afraid, tenuous, uneasy, insecure, guilt ridden, and fearful. That is not what God wants us to do. The book of Ecclesiastes makes this clear.
You’ll hear rules and regulations from the womb to the tomb. They’re here to stay. But listen to God’s positive, hopeful, fulfilling, righteous, joyous message: The gift of life on earth has been given to you. Who better can understand that gift from God than Christians, who have also received the gift of eternal life through Jesus? Let’s start celebrating all the blessings of this life God has given us.
[call out text: Life is meant to be lived on the cutting edge.]