How can we approach our responsibilities in life with wisdom and a healthy mindset? Listen to the podcast, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 24.
Once you've listened to the short podcast, take time to reflect on these questions.
Everyone can relate to the desire to either escape or control their lives. Which approach do you relate to most?
What specific area of your life are you inclined to escape or try to control right now?
What would it practically look like for you to engage that area of your life with open-handed trust? What’s one small step you can take today?
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
How did Tim’s message challenge or encourage you today?
The book of Ecclesiastes helps us adjust our expectations for what it means to live in a broken world. Ecclesiastes 4:4-12 outlines a few options. We can try to avoid the messiness of this world by folding our arms and sleeping our way through life. Or, we can clench our fists, work overtime, and try to control every aspect of life. Our third option of living in this broken world is better. The Qohelet says it looks like working with open-handed trust and rest.
Meditate on verse 4. What is one specific way you’ve toiled to achieve something in your life? Do you relate to what the preacher says about it? What is something that others have that you desired? How did that desire drive your toil to achieve it?
Consider the meaning of “chasing the wind.” Where does wind begin and end? Can you ever catch it? How does this relate to the problem of chasing achievements?
It’s easy to swing from chasing achievement to giving up (verse 5). Reflect on the wise alternative that’s offered in verse 6. The Hebrew word for “handful” is kaph, and it refers to your open palm. How does this explanation help you understand this verse?
Meditate on verses 8-12. What do relationships provide for us? What would it look like for you to put relationships ahead of personal achievement this week? From what you observe in the text, why does the preacher say this is better?
Turn your reflections into a prayer to God. He’s real. He hears you. Take time to talk things out with him.