In high school I had to memorize and recite Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 for Mr. Chandler's English class. How bold! How brave of him! But I guess even, hmmmm....10-15 years ago it wasn't such a crime to read from the Good Book. Now he would have to tie that scripture into some GLE's and make sure it was a standard from the scope and sequence for the curriculum. Whew!
I started Chapter 5 today, but was inclined to go back and reread chapter 4. So far, two things are sticking out to me.
1. vs. 6.. "...But I say it is better to be content with what little you have. Otherwise, you will always be struggling for more, and that is like chasing the wind." CONTENT...I wonder how often that is used in the Bible and just how it would be defined? Isn't the amount that you have relative to what someone else has? I've got a house, but it is a mansion to some and a camp to others. Do I have a little or a lot? I buy most of my furniture from junk stores or get hand me downs. Little or lot?
I think I'm dwelling on this today because we are finally at a point where we are considering a "new furniture" purchase. Should I be content with what I have? Or, am I content but it is ok to buy new stuff once every...well, once. It started out that we would get the cabinets painted. Now we might need some new furniture to make the room look put together, and we'll need some new "stuff" for the shelves and mantle to pull it all in. And the windows!! New windows or window treatments to cover up the cracks?? Is it ok to be content but also splurge every now and then??
2. Chapter 5:8 "In some places you will see poor people mistreated. Don't be surprised when they are not treated fairly or given their rights." Well, that ain't happening here! I promise I am not even going to put my big toe on a soap box right now, but several scriptures about "the poor" made me realize how far we are from that mentality. I don't think the poor are mistreated in the U S A at A L L!! It is almost glorified. Make less than $x and we will GIVE you tons of benefits! Don't have a job, we'll pay you! Don't have insurance, have your baby for free! I'm not on a soap box because I don't envy politicians. I would have NO CLUE how to make things "fair" in our great country. But I don't believe in hand outs....I believe in a hand that is out. If you are knocked down, you still have give some effort to get your kiester of the ground. Nobody should pull you up. As a matter of face, the Bible even addresses this in Proverbs "don't promise to pay another mans debt."
I've witnessed a great example of this mentality. I had a woman and her 3 children knock on my door yesterday evening. She was looking for housekeeping work. She parked her car, swallowed her pride and walked door to door looking for a hand that was out. Contrast that with a text I received asking me to "find a job" for an acquaintance....handout.
My house looks better already.