Things that Are Better
In this world we hear so much. We can be surrounded by those who will fill our ears and fill our minds with a lot of words. Words that may seem to support or to flatter. But, sometimes, we need to hear words – words of truth and words that give life and help us lead the life we should lead as Christians.
Ecclesiastes 7 – Those things that are Better
Two things that will define us are first mentioned in the seventh chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes.
A Good Name
Your reputation is the most valuable thing you possess. Who people know you to be and how they can depend upon you bears more value than anything on this earth.
“Good name; the credit, honor or character which is derived from a favorable public opinion or esteem. reputation is a valuable species of property or right, which should never be violated. With the loss of reputation a man and especially a woman, loses most of the enjoyments of life. The best evidence of reputation is a man’s whole life.” Webster’s 1828 dictionary
The Day You Die
If you are a believer and have accepted Christ as your Savior, the day you die is one of the most important days in your life. It is the day you begin your eternal life. Those days leading up to it will help shape some of what you’ll enjoy in that life. The things you say, the things you do all will have a long-term benefit in your eternal life. This day is a day we don’t dread. It is actually a day we look forward to. We do want to enjoy this life we have now and to enjoy our loved ones – now. But, the knowledge of one day seeing our Savior face to face and God our Father – makes that day so much sweeter.
It is Better to Have Godly Sorrow
If you have Christ in your heart you wish to live and to do those things that honor and please Him. It is because you love Him. If you do or say anything that harms your relationship, then a Godly sorrow for that is better than to have a ‘I can do what I want – I don’t care about the effects or the consequences’ attitude. When you do something or say something you shouldn’t, and we all do, how you acknowledge and have a change of heart – repent – will benefit you. It is better. It will clear and clean your heart and mind.
It is Better to Learn from Rebuke
There will be times in our lives that we have to hear rebuke from either a loved one or from someone we answer to. It is better to hear this and to learn from this as well as to change our lives because of it. How you take rebuke and how you learn from it can benefit you and strengthen your character.
It is Better to be Patient
We live in such a world where we can have answers instantly. We can have purchases not only come quickly, but also delivered to our door. But, there are times when we have to wait for things. Sometimes we have to wait a long time for something. In this too it is better to be patient with those things we think we want. It is better to be patient with those whom we may become angry with or who may have abused us. And it is better to avoid anger – or to be easily angered. We have to step away from situations and see it for what it is and give it the importance it deserves. Most times – it’s not worth the time or effort for us to become angry about.
The rest of chapter seven of Ecclesiastes discusses the importance of wisdom. True wisdom comes from God. We can live our lives in a way that we seek those things that are better in our lives.
Seeking those things that are better is in a way also seeking wisdom in our lives.
“For wisdom is a defense and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” Ecclesiastes 7:12
Our lives are composed of a balance of good and difficult events. We’re not to overly consider one over the other for God for “It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.” Ecclesiastes 7:18
Life – it is full of events, people and our own actions and thoughts. How we act and react to these things will not only define us now but in our future. It is better to know that good days and bad days will come. It is better to know that in each day we should strive to do our best and to enjoy the fruit of our labor. It is better to be patient and to be kind to all. For all face the same things at different times and at different degrees.
Let’s strive to devote ourselves to understand those things that are better in our lives. Let’s strive to live a life that doesn’t focus on other’s words or actions – our focus should be on God.
We get a renewed opportunity each day to take a moment to see our lives for what they are – moments in time that lead us to our God. We can choose each day to seek wisdom, exercise patience and strive to do better and to live better taking each step forward to honor our God.