Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gifted in Vain

1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: 2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.
(Ecclesiastes 6:1-2, New King James Version)

Gifted in Vain

What a tragedy; Solomon speaks of a man who is gifted in vain. God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it.

Even in our day, we find that this is a common occurrence. What things could prevent a man from enjoying his own wealth? A man could be prevented through health difficulties, strife, grief, and the list goes on. Yet, others, even those not related to him (foreigners), find enjoyment in his wealth.

Whenever I read something like this, I am reminded that wealth, or even lack of it, should not be the reason for living a life in unhappiness and/or depression. Depression wreaks havoc in our world today? Why is that?

I am no doctor, and I know there are many clinical reasons for depression, yet I do believe that much unhappiness and depression is caused by lack of expectations. If we expect wealth, other people, or things to be sources of happiness, we will be sadly disappointed. No one else has the power to make us happy!

As a Christian, we understand that true peace and happiness are gifts from the Lord, which are totally unrelated to our wealth or lack of it. As a matter of fact, even people visited by untold grief or health issues, can find this same peace with the Lord. We may not be happy about our circumstances, but we know that the Lord never leaves nor forsakes us.

Perhaps that is the message God is teaching us in Ecclesiastes 6 through the words of Solomon. Amassing riches or things with the expectation that they will bring happiness and contentment, is a myth. That happiness may last for a season, but in time it will be replaced by emptiness and discouragement.

We are here for a reason; we have a God-given purpose for our very existence on this earth. As we seek to know and fulfill that purpose, we will find our very souls filled with happiness and contentment.

So, rather than being gifted in vain, let us pray that God will help us to use and employ all of the gifts He has given to us for His glory and honor, alone.

God Bless You,
Linda

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