The word of God written in the bible is full of FREE nuggets of wisdom. These nuggets are worth more than silver or gold! Yet they are FREE!
In my bible study today, I was reading in Ecclesiastes and came across some nuggets of wisdom that are not the usual advice about how to live life that you might expect to see. However, if you take a close look you just might find your life in contrast, especially if you live in a wealthy modern society. I think these passages represent a profound truth usually missed by most people.
This book in the bible was written by the man who is said to have had the most wisdom and riches of any man who ever lived. He is also a man who made many many mistakes. He wrote this book during a time of deep self examination.
I summarized from Ecclesiastes 1-5 especially 5: 9-20.
If we try to increase our abundance of things, we will never be satisfied. Our “pursuit of abundance” will result in vanity.
When increase comes to us, we should use what we need to live with joy and share the rest with family and friends. When increase from the earth comes, it is for all those who labor as well as for the king. All are to enjoy the fruit (increase) of the labor. When blessings come, they are for everyone to enjoy, not for one person or a few persons, to hoard.
The only blessing in this life that we have on earth that is of any lasting value is to have joy while we eat and drink and enjoy our family, and be happy with the work of our labor. Everything else, every pursuit of anything else in life is vanity and will perish.
Everything else including trying to increase your possessions will vex (curse) your spirit and cause illness and cause you to loose sleep at night. Nothing we can build will bring us lasting happiness and we will die naked the same way we were born with nothing in our hands.
This nugget of truth is the opposite of what we are taught to pursue in our modern culture. If we could grasp this nugget, and apply it, we could be FREE of so much bondage.
Is achieving the “American Dream” the pursuit of true wealth? Will you come to the end of your life and realize you were mislead? Will you realize you spent your life in bondage and were never truly free?
What does vanity mean?
1. lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness
2. something worthless, trivial, or pointless.
3. excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit:
4. an instance or display of this quality or feeling.
5. something about which one is vain or excessively proud
(quote from online dictionary)
So vanity is WORTHLESSNESS and Shelfishness and Pride. Vanity is pride in one’s acheivements that actually result in a bound hollow pointless life. It is worth less than what it boasts and pretends because it is an exaggeration of value. Vanity is the opposite pursuit of true wealth.
According the wisest and richest man who ever lived, wealth is not equivalent to things. He said pursuit of things is bondage of spirit, like putting a curse upon one’s life, and is a vain pursuit that will result in nothing.
A person only needs what he can carry in his own hands to help him eat, drink, and enjoy his family and have joy in his work. All else is vanity in this world.
“Increase in wealth” should not also mean “increase in things”. You can truly be wealthy and happy without stuff!
In modern society we are falsely shown that wealth equals owning a big house(s) or nice appartment in an expensive neighborhood, expensive cars, fancy trips and vacations, expensive clothes, college degree (s), high ranking jobs that pay big incomes, expensive jewelry, eating at expensive restaurants, going to expensive sporting events and performances, etc. It is all about having “things that represent riches”.
But will having a resume with a college degree, and work history of high paying incomes, owning a house in a nice neighborhood with two cars in the attached garage, a green manicured lawn, and money in the bank equal to a life of true wealth? Is the abundance of things and money equal to real wealth? Is riches the same as wealth?
This truth is free and will set you free!
Wealth is freedom from debt and bondage.
Wealth is freedom from competition.
Wealth is the ability to be happy and joyful and sleep without worry.
Wealth is freedom from people pleasing.
True wealth is being happy simply by being content with eating and drinking with family and friends and with the work you do, while you live in a place of the size that provides just what you need to live a simple life and the ability to share the abundance of the increase with others.
As I thought about these truths, I realized this nugget of truth that wealth is being FREE from vain pursuits, I felt as though I had discovered an amazing treasure.
Reducing possessions to a level that is “just what is needed” to happily work (not struggle or be discourage to earn a living) and eat (nutritious food) and drink (pure clean water) and sleep well (at peace) while you enjoy the company of family and friends in your community is real wisdom! This should be the American dream and the pursuit of all of humanity.
The truth in the bible is free for everyone. It shows us how to avoid living a vain worthless life. Salvation is free for everyone too. Jesus came to save everyone who calls on his name and accepts him as their savior and obeys him. He told us to love God with all our heart and love our neighbor as we love our own self and share our abundance and meet their needs. The bible also says that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom and that true wisdom is worth more than silver or gold.
There are nuggets of truth in the bible worth more than silver and gold and if you apply them you will live a life that is wealthy, blessed, and wise!