Today’s my 30th birthday. I’m not really a big “birthday” person (well… not anymore, I was when I was a kid!), but I usually try to take some time on my birthday to read through Ecclesiastes and ask myself some hard questions.
Here are some verses from Ecclesiastes I like to reflect on along with questions I like to ask myself:
“Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.” (Eccl. 1:10-11, ESV)
- Do I listen to the wisdom of those who are older than me, or am I setting myself up to learn difficult lessons the painful way?
- Am I living in a way that tries to build a name for myself for a few generations and is then forgotten, or am I living to honor the Eternal One by devoting myself to His work on earth?
“For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” (Eccl. 1:18, NIV)
- Am I counting on knowledge and wisdom to protect me from sorrow, or am I relying on Christ to strengthen me in the midst of sorrow?
“Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.” (Eccl. 4:13, ESV)
- Do I take my position as an ordained pastor as an excuse to not listen to others?
- Am I teachable and willing to learn from any and every person and situation?
“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” (Eccl. 5:1-3, ESV)
- Am I taking my relationship with Jesus Christ for granted?
- Do I listen to the sermons on Sunday morning, assuming that I already know it all?
- Do I say “I’ll pray for you” and then truly follow through by praying for them… or are my intentions falling to the ground?
- Am I wasting time, assuming that there’s more time left for meaningful things and for spiritual conversations, or am I making the best use of time and opportunities?
- What have I done recently that would cause me to be ashamed to face my Creator and Savior?