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Living a Balanced Life
At first what Solomon is saying seems blasphemous.
“Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise: why should you destroy yourself? Do not be overly wicked, nor be foolish: why should you die before your time?” (Ecclesiastes 7:16-17)
But what Solomon saying is that we are to live our lives somewhere in between.
Don’t take your righteousness and be Pharisaical. Jesus warns calling such individuals hypocrites, blind guides, and fools because they are not living as they profess, Matthew 23.
The reality is that there is no one who is righteous enough, and that all have sinned and fall short of God’s holy and righteous standards for life, Romans 3:10; 23.
What about wisdom? Can we be overly wise? All true wisdom comes from God and the Apostle James says that we’re to ask God for this wisdom, James 1:5. There’s also another kind wisdom, wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and demonic, James 3:15.
The balance is not to be overly wise in seeking wisdom outside the Lord and His word.
Solomon then says not to be overly wicked and foolish. When I read that I say, “How about not being foolish or wicked at all.” But the truth, however, is that we all have the sin nature residing within us and that is why the Lord tells us to seek His forgiveness.
What I believe the Lord is saying is not to allow our sin to continue without repenting and turning back to Him.
Life contains both the righteousness and wickedness of man. The trick is not to allow either to exceed God’s boundaries.
How are we to do that? Solomon gives us the answer.
“It is good that you grasp this, and also not remove your hand from the other; for he who fears God will escape them all” (Ecclesiastes 7:18).
Later he said,
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Wednesday Evening Bible Study