Tan: With a quiet heart, learn the value of life and living

Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

LIFE is a gift from God and living it well is what we do with that gift. Life is a given while living it is a choice. Choices are derived from convictions and the activation of those convictions is initiated by the Holy Spirit… then it evolves into a lifestyle of godliness.

Solomon painted a picture of comparison… a contrast between two realities of those who relentlessly pursue the good life, or, as they popularly say, the "American dream". I am not sure what the equivalent of that is in the Filipino context but we’ll just call it the good life.

On the other side of the coin, few clearly see the godly life. Oftentimes, we innocently conclude that the good life is a godly life.

Solomon shows us the distinction, and when we know the difference, it is time to listen to the Spirit and stand on a conviction that will lead to making a choice—then it becomes a lifestyle. Please remember that in making a choice, we cannot have both, one must go. When it comes to making spiritual choices neutrality is never an option.

Ecclesiastes chapter 6 sends us on a journey which demands a quiet heart that invites us to look inside and examine how this gift of life is lived. It also offers a gracious chance to repent and enjoy redemption in the remaining years of this short life on earth.

With a quiet heart, let us learn how to live life in wisdom and with meaning and purpose. Quietly and prayerfully discern the false assumptions of the good life.

The false assumptions are as follows:

• Ownership of goods is equal to the full enjoyment of it (v. 1-2).

• Longevity of existence is the way to protect what you own.

• Prosperity is an indisputable evidence of God's approval and favor.

Quietly and thoroughly challenge the value of living the claims of the Godly life.

Avoid spiritualizing… go for spirituality quality. Do not be simplistic, be simple. The godly life is defined by its PRIORITY—then this becomes its clear purpose that guides us in all its pursuits.

Living the godly life is not the denial of the good life, what is crystal clear is that the good life is not the reason why a godly life is lived.

There are some blessings of being intimate with God that the good life cannot give, mysteriously, a life of shattered dreams have drawn broken people to a life so close to God minus the perks of the good life.

Pause and with a quiet heart reflect on the following statements:

• In living the Godly life, God is first and is the center of everything, not gifts.

• God is the benevolent Giver and with our faith focused on God, we become grateful receivers.

• The Godly life is all about God's grace to fully enjoy God and His gifts without any fear of rejection and without exerting efforts to earn His love.

• The Godly life is a life lived for the glory of God. The core issue is God's agenda, God's will and God's glory and in doing so, we find ourselves and our purpose.

In quietness and trust, submit willingly to God's wisdom and His ways of revealing brokenness and the breakthrough of the godly life. This journey will expose, without mercy, our vulnerability to materialism. Unless we see the depth of our addiction to power and money, only then can we cry to God for mercy to release us from this dark bondage of greed.

The godly life will be consistent in expressing our struggle to walk by faith. It will continually remind and rebuke us to BE STILL and know that He is GOD.

Desiring God and deciding to live a godly life is all about God's grace… the efforts we put into it is still grace, not points to earn.

What is the crystal clear difference between the good life and godly life? The good life thrives on things. The godly life is lived by faith in God. The good life focuses on the good. The godly life is focused on God. The good life is a reward you earn, the godly life is a relationship enjoyed in grace.

Thank you for reading…

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