There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place? (Ecclesiastes 6:1-6 ESV)
Solomon has identified three areas where discontentment can be found and the first area is with our wealth and possessions. He is referencing someone who has a lot of wealth yet has the ability to enjoy his wealth and possessions. In my opinion, this happens to most of us because we are stuck in the never-ending cycle of materialism. One of the dark parts of this passage is that he is saying no matter how much you possess, if you don’t possess the power to enjoy it, you might as well never have been born (V. 3).
One of the issues that is birthed from discontentment is idolatry. Idolatry is when we elevate anything over God. In this case, we want to enjoy the gifts of God over the gift giver (God). And that is why we are stuck in this cycle. We will never have the ability to enjoy the gifts of God until we learn to be content with what he has given us today.
Solomon’s message of finding contentment echoes loudly to our culture today. He is telling us to enjoy the blessings of God today. Be content with how God has wired you. Stop focusing on what you don’t have and focus on how you can use what you do have to build the kingdom of God.
How can you use your current wealth and possessions to further the kingdom of God today?
“As you perhaps know, I haven’t always been a Christian. I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity. I am certain there must be a patent American article on the market which will suit you far better, but I can’t give any advice on it.” – C. S. Lewis