Today in a meeting, when I entered into, I saw the topic written on the wall. In fact this topic had always been on my mind, which is why I named my blog “The Hesitant Prize Fighter”. I believe that we all want to get a better value in life. Generally there are 2 type of ways one could get a better value in life.
One way, is to gain experience through life experience, people who take this path dislike advice from others. They wanted to experience everything by themselves. Some of them may end up with a smooth sailing life, but it is no doubt the blessing of God. But there are also some who only learn regret upon meeting with accidents. That is the time when one realise that some lessons require a price that they are unable to pay. They end up regretting only when they know it is too late for turning back.
On the other hand, there are also people who are willing to follow the advice of their elders and to consider the words of God. A Person who takes this path, will lead a life in the protection of God. Such people found more value in life then the former.
In fact, the secret of finding values in life depends on our attitude to life. Let us consider the following questions
Is Wealth As A Better Value?
In the eyes of most people, they will tend to think that the riches add values to a person life. For with riches comes great enjoyments and a higher quality of life. But wealth doesn’t always guaranty joy in life.
Let us consider the experience of King Solomon, we all know how wealthy he is and how much enjoyments he had within his life
“So I became great and excelled more than all
who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my
wisdom remained with me.
Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,
For my heart rejoiced in all my labor;
And this was my reward from all my labor.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done
And on the labor in which I had toiled;
And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.
There was no profit under the sun.” – Solomon (Eccl 2:9-11)
Indeed, Solomon would have been the envy of most people in the world, for he is a man who gain everything and he is able to do everything his heart desires. But his conclusion is that all the things he did are vanity.
Can Wealth Provide Security?
There are also some who regard wealth as a form of security. It is human nature to plan for the future and to save as much money as one could. For we know everything in the world requires money. We worry from children’s education funds to our own medical bills. That is why wealth is often regard as a form of security.
Yet Solomon says something to share about that
“There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun:
Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
But those riches perish through misfortune;
When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.
As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return,
To go as he came;
And he shall take nothing from his labor
Which he may carry away in his hand.”- Solomon (Ecc 5:13-16)
Indeed wealth does not always bring security. In a poor country, the rich often fear being kidnapped or robbed. That is when riches are kept for their owners to his hurt. Sometimes the rich may encounter misfortune and lose their riches. That is wealth provided no security but in fact became a problem that makes him feel unsafe.
Can Wealth Provide Satisfaction?
There are also some who regards wealth to provide satisfaction in life. For with wealth, you can get good enjoyment and luxurious living. Indeed they give satisfaction, but not forever. Just as King Solomon mentioned in his book of Ecclesiastes
“All things are full of labor;
Man cannot express it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.” – Solomon (Eccl 1:8-9)
Perhaps wealth can get us into a high class concert hall for a performance, we may find the experience fulfilling, but after a while, we will feel that it is nothing new. Wealth could get us luxurious food but if one were to eat it on a regular basis, it would no longer remain satisfying. That is why King Solomon describes that experience to be “ The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing”
The Simple Fact About Accumulating Wealth
There are also people in the world that feels that wealth could help them resolve problems in life. That is why we often envy businessman who is able to think about the present and envisioned the future. We wish to be able to be like them, but often we tend to forget this simple truth from Solomon
“For there is a man whose labor is
with wisdom, knowledge, and skill;
yet he must leave his heritage to a man
who has not labored for it. This also is vanity
and a great evil.
For what has man for all his labor, and for the
striving of his heart with which he has toiled
under the sun?
For all his days are sorrowful, and his work
burdensome; even in the night his heart takes
no rest. This also is vanity.”- Solomon (Eccl 2:21-23)
Let us consider a simple fact, a worker just need to work and at the end of the day he could rest from his labours. But this is different from a life of a businessman, he may need to plan ahead for tomorrow and to prepare work schedules and plans to expand his business. At the very end of the day what did he gain?
Indeed one need to work hard and smart in order to accumulate wealth. He often works hard only to find that he is unable to enjoy the fruits of his lab or at the end of his life. That is why King Solomon describes it within his book
“Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled
under the sun, because I must leave it to the man
who will come after me.
And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool?
Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled
and in which I have shown myself wise under the
sun. This also is vanity. “ – Solomon (Eccl 2:18-19)
In fact one would never be able to bring his wealth to him to his grave
To Labour For The Food That Endures
Of course I am not saying that it is unnecessary to work hard and to get money. But we ought to ponder about these question as we pursue the worldly wealth
Indeed we require money if we want to survive in t his world, but how often did we spend too much time pursuing after it? Those who relentlessly pursue wealth usually fails to consider where would he go after he leave the world. That is why he spend all his time toiling in his life.
Jesus once reminded us
“Do not labor for the food which perishes,
but for the food which endures to
everlasting life,”- Jesus (Jn 6:27)
The food that he refers to is the words of God. For without it, one would lose eternal life. Indeed many people are becoming more affluent in their lives, and they enjoy their lives more than the people of the past. However, such life also takes away our sensitivity to the words of God and the vigilance in our faith.
The Warning From The Generation Of Noah
When Jesus liken the end times to the times of Noah (Matt 24:36-39). He tells us that during those days everyone is leading a typical life. they are eating , drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. They are leading secure lives and they lose their vigilance. They were unprepared when the flood hit them. The same thing can happen to us today if we live a complacent life and we over indulge in this colourful world.
Paul once gave warning to the church in Thessalonica
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren,
you have no need that I should write to you. For you
yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so
comes as a thief in the night.
For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden
destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a
pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”- Paul (1 Thess 5:1-3)
Disasters usually strike when it was least expected. Those who are unprepared are often affected by it. People who live within turmoil’s are usually prepared when disasters strike. When one is in tribulation, he is often able to draw near to God and to read the bible. Ironically we tend to lose interest in times of peace. This is the reason why Christians regard troubles as good things at times. It help us lead a life of vigilance. Just as King Solomon once said
“In the day of prosperity be joyful,
But in the day of adversity consider:
Surely God has appointed the one as
well as the other, So that man can find
out nothing that will come after him.”- Solomon (Eccl 7:14)
We must be joyful in prosperity and consider in times of adversity. Both came from God and sometimes God give us trials in time of peace for our good.
The Right Attitude In Times Of Joy
When God allow us to live in days of prosperity, let us learn to have self control in joy. As the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us
“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
Walk in the ways of your heart,
And in the sight of your eyes;
But know that for all these
God will bring you into judgment.” – Solomon (Eccl 11:9)
Indeed as we enjoy and are joyful, let us remind ourselves that God is watching and we need to have self control. Without self control, one could easily find themselves in sin by accident. That is why Job often offer sacrifices for his children as he is afraid that they may offend God as they are enjoying themselves.
Let us learn to have self control, so we would not fall in our faith. Let us also consider the lives we lead.
2 Things That Add Values In Life : To Fear God
Let us learn to fear God, one who fears God would be able to add value to his life. He would give his best to Jesus. Just like Mary who broke her flask of spikenard to anoint the feet of Jesus. She offered something that is most valuable and Jesus remembered her offering.
“Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this
gospel is preached in the whole world,
what this woman has done will also be
told as a memorial to her.”- Jesus
The life of Mary is one that is filled with the fear and the love for God. People who lead such a life will become a beautiful testimony for the Lord. Just like how God testify about Job before the devil
“Have you considered My servant Job,
that there is none like him on the earth,
a blameless and upright man, one who
fears God and shuns evil? And still he
holds fast to his integrity, although you
incited Me against him, to destroy him
without cause.” – YHWH (Job 2:3)
God could testify of Job being God fearing before the Satan, and a God fearing man will always have a good testimony before God.
2 Things That Add Values In Life : To Serve God
The second thing one could do to add value to live is to serve God in our youth. Just as what King Solomon shared
“Remember now your Creator
in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:”- Solomon (Eccl 12:1)
It is hard for one to serve God when he is old, that is why it is called the difficult days. For we would lose our strength and are unable to serve Solomon continue to remind us to seize hold of all opportunity to serve God
“In the morning sow your seed,
And in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper,
Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good.”- Solomon (Ecc 11:6)
a farmer will seize every opportunity to sow his seed, for one can never tell which one will prosper. In the same way, let us size the chance to serve God when we have the chance. For only by serving him can we find a life that is full of value. As we have read earlier, everything that we do for the Lord will become a memorial to him. Just as we have read the examples of Mary and Job.
Those who serve God will bring value, as their works will follow them.
We have examine the things that the people in the world regard as valuable. We know that people in the world can only see what lies ahead of them and many of the things they pursue after are in vain.
Even though we need wealth to survive in the world, but we as children of God must peruse a life that brings more values to us. We need to fear God, and to serve him. Even though the things of the world do contain a value, but if we want more values in our life, we need to make sacrifices. We need to spend less time on the things of the world.
Only then can we find more time to pursue after things that are of greater values. May God help all of us to make the right choice