Give Up Your Independence
“I can fix this!” Have you ever uttered those words when you faced a stressful life situation like a relational issue, a habitual sin, or simply the busyness of life? And yet, the more you tried to fix the problem, you found yourself standing in metaphorical quicksand. It was as if the harder you tried to outsmart the situation or muster up your own strength to “fix it,” you just felt more anxious and more stuck! This is what happens when we try to play the role of God. You’re not alone. As a matter of a fact, Solomon hints to us that this has been a problem for us ever since the very first man, Adam!
- Think of a time when this happened to you. What did you do that did not work? What did you do that did work?
Read the Word
Ecclesiastes 6:10-12 (ESV)
10 Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he. 11 The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? 12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
- Based on these few verses, what is Solomon’s view of man? What is Solomon’s view of God?
- Solomon loved using Old Testament history in his writing. What story and person in early Old Testament history is he referencing in verse 10 when he says, “Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is…”?
- Write out a personalized translation of verse 11. From verse 11, what brings out more vanity (futility) in a person’s life? Why do you think Solomon said it in this way?
- From verse 12, how does man define what is “good”? How does God define what is “good”?
- Why do you think we often choose to live our lives like we don’t need God? How might you be doing this currently?
Respond to God
God has an eternal perspective with infinite wisdom. We, on the other hand, have a fleeting, ever-changing, situational perspective with incredibly finite wisdom. And yet, we continually live like “we can handle” whatever comes our way, independently from God. Just like Solomon preached in Ecclesiastes, all of God’s Word points us back to giving up on being self-reliant, and instead, becoming fully reliant and dependent on him. We cannot fix ourselves. As a matter of a fact, we negate the reality of the gospel in our lives if we live like that. The point of our faith is that we cannot do it on our own—but only in full dependence on him, and him alone.
- Ask God to give you an awareness to be fully reliant and dependent on him.