Wisely Analyzing Man's Character.

In Solomon's discussion of living life on purpose, we have studied a bold determination in Ecclesiastes 7:15-18. We now turn to a balanced assessment and some benign reminders.

Balanced Assessment (Ecclesiastes 7:19-22, 29)

Solomon cautions his readers against having unrealistic expectations of people. We cannot hope for too much from sinners. We fail each other. Wisdom helps us overcome challenges brought into our lives by fallen people and unmet expectations. It helps us keep others from derailing our relationship with God.

Decision-makers for a city government need lots of information and expertise in order to govern. God's wisdom is of infinitely more value. It equips us for all of life (2 Peter 1:1-3).

It's okay to have general expectations of saved and unsaved people, as both bear the image of God. But no one is perfect. When we are failed by another person, our thinking must start with their value as an image-bearer of God or their value in Christ.

People can also believe false things about us (verses 21-22). We must remain consistent in our walk with God regardless of what people might say or believe about us. If you are in Christ, you are perfect before God.

"When it comes to the unkind words of others about you, it is best to have one blind eye and one deaf ear. ...You cannot stop people's tongues, and therefore the best thing is to stop your own ears and never mind what is spoken. There is a world of idle chit-chat abroad, and he who takes note of it will have enough to do. " – Charles Spurgeon

Benign Reminders (Ecclesiastes 7:23-28)

Solomon gently reminds us that knowing a lot is easy; living with wisdom is hard. It's easier to find a knowledgeable person than someone who lives the principles of God's Word in their daily life. Wisdom, not knowledge, is the way to discern between good and evil. We will always find fewer people the higher we go up the mountain of wisdom, but it's worth the journey to know that you are walking with God.

The fear of God compels us by the grace of God to live governed by God. We need wisdom from God, His Word, and others in His family. Though living this way is rare, it is pleasing to God. We are first pleasing to Him positionally, and then we will be practically as we walk with Him.

Application Points

  • When you are failed by another person, don't be surprised. No one is perfect. Instead of being upset, train your thinking to start with the value of the other person. They are first an image-bearer of God, and (if saved) they also have great value in Christ.
  • How much do you care about what other people say about you? Don't seek out others' opinions on you. Just remember who you are before God in Christ.
  • Does your heart want to give itself license to sin because of what you know? That is an ominous place to be. Wisdom drives us far from tampering with darkness and compels us to be governed by God, living for Him, and serving Him with others.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Titus 3:1-3 – Godly living.
  • Colossians 3:11-13, Ephesians 4:25-32, Colossians 4:5-6 – Don't let another person derail your walk with God.