Solomon's Folly

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
— Ecclesiastes 1:2

I've accepted for a long time that I am naturally a pessimist. In fact, my disposition is to automatically view people, events, and circumstances in a negative light. It's a terrible habit that I'm working on adjusting in my life. Yet, despite my pessimism, I've found a great hope in the presence of Christ.

Ecclesiastes is written from the perspective of an elderly Solomon. My guess is that he, like me, was a natural critic. Verse 2 is especially telling, "Everything is meaningless." Whoa, talk about a Debbie Downer. Either Solomon had not had his coffee when he wrote this, or he is a pessimist haunted by the mistakes of his past. Solomon certainly wasn't perfect (the book of 1 Kings documents his reign), and like us all, held regrets from prior decisions. And those regrets obviously held captive a deep place in his soul, because Solomon's disposition in Ecclesiastes 1 is one of hopelessness. 

But it didn't have to be that way. We've all struggled in this life. We've all made terrible decisions. Yet, we can differ from Solomon in how we perceive the world around us. Will our past mistakes create a jaded Scrooge, or will the hope we find in Christ encourage and comfort our souls? Will we become bitter about the world around us, or live a "rich and satisfying life" (John 10:10) that comes through faith in Jesus. How will you live with your mistakes?

For pessimists like me, consider asking Christ to transform our minds by "changing the way you think" (Romans 12:2). Lord, change my attitude, my outlook, and be my hope today!

Pastor Matt Whidden