Grace for Your Day October 25

The story is told of a pastor who feared what a certain man in the church thought about him to the point that every time he frowned or smiled during a sermon, the pastor lost his train of thought so he decided to approach him about it. As he did so, he was surprised to learn that the man had not heard any of his sermons because his hearing aids were turned off.

The point is that you should not fear men. You should not be so concerned with what they think about you. This is a mistake that Solomon made in Ecclesiastes 7:1 when he says, “A good name is better than good ointment . .  .” The word for “name” is shem in Hebrew and it refers to a person’s reputation because Solomon says that he wanted to build up his reputation now. After turning to several things to find happiness in chapters 1-6, he decided to puff himself up and live for his own ego. Verses 16-17 describe his approach this way:
Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?
In other words, Solomon says that he wanted to do everything he could to be safe. He wanted to make sure that he did not ruin himself or die before his time. If he was with the religious crowd, then he became religious. If he was with the wicked crowd, then he became wicked so long as he was not excessive about it. However, in verse 15, Solomon calls this way of life “futile” because you cannot please everyone. It is impossible to make everybody like you which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This Sunday, we are going to continue our studies in the Book of Ecclesiastes with a sermon entitled “The Trouble with a Good Name.” This is a vital subject because we all struggle with people pleasing from time-to-time. We all want to people to like us but the problem is that it cannot be done. It never works because “the fear of man is a snare” (Proverbs 29:25). “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8). In fact, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 says,
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
Those are the final words of the Book of Ecclesiastes to remind us that this is the solution to the problem of vanity. We need to fear God more than man. We should live for His approval, not for the approval of others because He is the One Who will judge us in the end. Please join us as we study that lesson together and take it to heart. - Jeremy Cagle