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Jun 14, 2020

Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 7;8,9; 7:21,22; 10:12-14

We live in a day of excess in which passion and ego reign supreme.  The commonness of lawsuits is evidence enough that people are increasingly demanding of their rights and "a financial settlement will do just fine … thank you very much."

For the Christian there is quite another way to live.  A Christian's life should be characterized, not by excess, but by restraint.  In some sections of Ecclesiastes, Solomon compiles proverbs designed to guard and guide us in life.

In Ecclesiastes 10:12-14 he speaks of restraint of our tongues.  ". . . The lips of a fool consume him; The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness and the end of his talk is evil madness.  A fool multiplies words."  A foolish man rambles on and on when he really does not have much to say.

In Ecclesiastes 7:8,9 Solomon writes about restraint of anger.  "Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools" (Ecc 7:9).  Anger blurs judgment, alienates friends, disturbs peace and sleep, destroys marriages.  A wise person lives his life without defending himself/herself at every turn.

Ecclesiastes 7:21,22 speaks of restraint of mind.  "Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you."  To constantly be wondering what others think or say about us is to become paranoid and enslaved to an unhealthy desire for approval.  It is an awful way to live.  Rather, let us be passionate about the approval of the Almighty, the final and only true Judge.