Ecclesiastes: The Joy of Living
Balance in the Christian life is not always easy and it is certainly not automatic. There is always temptations to go off and “do your own thing." And there are always the extreme positions that tend to draw us to one side or the other. Then, of course, there are those “helpful” Christians that keep telling us what they think we ought to be doing or not doing. Maintaining a proper balance is tough in the middle of all these tensions and conflicting options.
Having fun and enjoying life is one of the most difficult areas in which to achieve balance as a Christian. If we’re having too much fun and feeling too happy all the time, other Christians may accuse us of not taking life seriously. We may even put ourselves on a guilt trip because of this supposed overindulgence in fun! But then if we’re serious all the time, our Christian friends begin preaching smiley-face messages at us. And in all seriousness, life may begin to drag for us with no excitement and nothing to look forward to. We just can’t seem to win!
Achieving a proper balance in this area of living is hard. And the problem is not just in the mind. There are the very real dangers of self-indulgence on the one hand and discouragement or depression on the other, if the right attitude toward having fun and enjoying life is not practiced.
The Book of Ecclesiastes may seem like an unlikely place to find guidelines for the proper attitude towards fun and happiness in life. It is easy to read this book of Scripture for the very first time come away with a depressed feeling because of the recurring “all is vanity” theme. However, I found that Ecclesiastes has more to share than just the idea that everything is vanity or meaningless. In fact, this book has so much to say about happiness and delight in life that the theme of Ecclesiastes could be considered “The Joy Of Living.”
It is definitely...