20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.
There was a unique call in the NFL game this last Thursday night. The Philadelphia Eagles were on offense during the 4th quarter. A flag was thrown for a false start. This is a call that usually indicates sloppy play on the part of one or two players of the offensive line. In this case the sole offender was the only one NOT flagged for the infraction. The center, Jason Kelce, forgot the snap count… and while everyone else sprung into motion… he never hiked the ball. Referee Walt Anderson received more than a few laughs for his announcement: “False start, everybody but the center.” The culprit was the only one not called for the penalty.
Our verse today from Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is not a single person on this earth that is innocent before a holy God. Not even righteous people do good all the time… even they sin. Illegal motion could be called on just about every play that humans beings are a part of.
Romans 5: 6-8 reminds us: 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Solomon said there in not a righteous man who continually does good and does not sin…. but that was because he never met Jesus. Our redeemer, in the fullness of time, came to live the only sinless life that has ever been lived. Then, at the cross, where He died, He took the penalty for our sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21) In the game called life, He has given us the victory! And has made us penalty free in the process! Blessed be His holy name!
Happy Labor Day!
Work is an important part of our lives that the pulpit doesn’t address often enough. Dorthy Sayers once wrote: “How can anyone remain interested in a religion which seems to have no concern with nine-tenths of his life?”
So here is some wisdom from Solomon… some things to avoid in the workplace:
4 And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Harold G. Coffin defined envy as “the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” Keeping up with the Joneses is an impossibility. The Joneses are everywhere. Envy of others will push you into a cycle of work that will wear your out… body and soul. And in the end it is a poor motivation for work.
5 The fool folds his hands and ruins himself.
Working for just a paycheck to cash and buy things to keep up with the neighbors produces a lot of lazy people at the job site… watching the time clock and walking around in a haze… working hard only to avoid work.
Remember: Laziness doesn’t pay. And not just in work, but in life… to put off responsibility is to fold your hands and ruin yourself.
6 Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
Always being the last car on the lot, beating the secretary in, bring home work in your briefcase, telling your family… I’m going to be late again… develops within you a hurry sickness.
What is hurry sickness?
Meyer Friedman, in his book, Treating Type A Behavior defines it as “a continuous struggle … to accomplish or achieve more and more things or participate in more and more events in less and less time.” You know if you have that sickness if you saved some work to do over labor day.
Okay, that is your labor day lesson… now go enjoy your day off.