Ecclesiastes 2 isn’t the most cheerful Bible passage. It reflects the heart and mind of someone who feels like they can’t get any joy or meaning out of the world. A large part of their despair has to do with feeling as if they’d worked hard, only to have to give all of their riches away. Read these verses: ‘I hated everything I had worked for on earth, because I must leave them to someone who will live after me…and I don’t know if he will be wise or foolish…So I became sad about all the hard work I had done here on earth. People can work hard using all their wisdom, knowledge, and skill, but they will die, and other people will get the things for which they worked…This is also unfair’ (Ecclesiastes 2:18-21 NCV). We all know that it’s difficult to have perspective once you’re stuck in a rut of negative thinking, but we can take two positives here. Firstly, we work for God, not for gain. This is a reminder to correct our outlook. We’re not here to hoard riches, but to do good work for God. Secondly, we have a great opportunity to invest in others. Leaving everything to someone ‘who hasn’t worked for it’ is our chance to invest in future generations. Overall, if we find our attitude towards work and money becoming negative, Ecclesiastes 2 is a reminder that that can make us bitter and miserable, and that it’s time to shift our focus. Be prepared to work hard for God, then let it all go.
Find an opportunity to work hard for no gain today, only for God and for the sake of others. Take it as a chance to readjust your perspective on what you feel you should gain from work.
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