Power To Hurt
08 June 2009
I have thought deeply about all that goes on here in the world, where people have the power to hurt each other. (Ecclesiastes 8:9 NLT)
Today my reading included chapters from Ecclesiastes and Ephesians. Solomon's writing is sprinkled with gems of wisdom about values and behavior; “Wisdom is better than folly - Good is better than evil - Enjoy life as and while you can - Think seriously about the meanings and consequences of the things people do and the things you see.”
But Solomon sees the world as a place "where people have the power to hurt each other."
Solomon’s perspective is that there is neither reward or punishment beyond death. Even though he is one of the most powerful and certainly the richest men of his time, he has no hope of eternity so he concludes that life is meaningless and without hope.
Paul, on the other hand, a man who has suffered greatly and sacrificed much, writes from a prison cell, and yet his writings are full of hope, encouragement, and challenge.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)
Instead of viewing the world as a place where "people have the power to hurt each other," Paul's world is a place where Christ-followers are learning to be kind to each other, to serve each other, to make allowances for each other's faults, to join together for a common purpose that focuses on neither wealth, pleasure, comfort, or power, but is simply the joyful purpose of doing Christ’s work on earth.
I want to think like Paul, not judging by outward appearance and circumstance, but thinking in the light of God’s eternal purposes and eternity with Christ.
Father, today I purpose to not be short-sighted and self-centered. I purpose to live in the light of eternity and see the world not as a place “where people have the power to hurt each other,” but as a place where Jesus’ love has given us the power to hear each other, to help each other, and to heal each other. Amen.