A study on Ecclesiastes 6 shows us that life is about how to live so as to die well. It is being able to have no regrets, die in peace and be ready to meet our Creator. This is also the essence of the message of the book of Ecclesiastes even though it starts with 'Vanity and Meaingless'. Do we have a plan now to die well?I have two private Bible Study Groups meeting regularly at my home, one in English and one in Mandarin. They used to cover different topics in the past. But few months ago, both groups decided to study on this seldom studied book, the book of Ecclesiastes. I usually prepared the study months before and blogged in FBSG Friday Bible Study Group. Then we will have the discussion, and I will update the blog with the new discoveries from our discussion. It is interesting and beneficial as we continue to learn more everytime go through the same chapter. Last week, the Chinese group had a discussion on this chapter 6. The Bible Study on this chapter can be found in The Ironies of Life and the Search.
In this week discussion, we found the following 5 regrets of life:
- A Rich and famous life that is short. Don't waste our health in pursuit of wealth and fame. Learn to have a balance life. Wealth and Fame without health to enjoy life is a waste.
- Many Children and Long Life without peace and a tragic death. We learn that material wealth and long life (regret of point 1) has no meaning too. Life is much more than material wealth and fame. Just having many children without them being good and having good relationships are actually the cause of much headaches and heartaches. Good and peaceful relationships, especially within the family are important too. There are the materials needs and also the mental and social needs. Dying in peace, without regrets, without worries, and be ready to meet our Creator is a good life.
- An uncontended life. Just working for money and trusting money to provide for satisfaction and meaning is actually a foolish and regretable act! We have the parable of the rich fool Luke 12:13-21. Wisdom is about how to live rightly and well and it better than being foolish and waste one life. Chinese Classics teaches us to know how to live rightly first before we pursue technical knowledge and skills. So we see knowledge is of two kinds - moral and technical knowledge. Right moral behavior is more important than material wealth. Proverbs 28:6 Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse. We learn to be contented with one has than to be frustrated with one desires.
- Striving with the Unchangeables. Not knowing one's own limit and ability and think too highly of oneself and wanting even to challenge the natural order, and even the Creator will lead to frustrations and sorrows. Lots of bombastic talks with very little execution is waste.
- Not knowing the future especially the afterlife. The greatest worry that a man has is not knowing the future. He has no answer but believe not the gospel Jn 3:16?
Life is about preparing how to die well. Dying well needs us to know the truth, to know and receive Jesus Christ as the Son of God into our life, and then to live out this Christ within us, then we may confidently depart this world at the time of death in peace.
For a practical plan to prepare for death when one is near death, see http://www.ted.com/talks/judy_macdonald_johnston_prepare_for_a_good_end_of_life.html
Related Issues on Death:
1. “I would reflect more.”
2. “I would risk more.”
3. “I would do more things that would live on after I am dead.”
Also read the details, not just the title of, Regrets of the Dying http://
Here is the list, I added some comments to highlight the meaning given in the details (if you don't have the time to read the full passage)...
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Live out my dream - my calling.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard - Should have spent time with family.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. Resolve ill feelings for Better Relationships.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.