Make Your Life Count

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth; better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. —Ecclesiastes 7:1–4

Solomon here provides a great reminder of the importance of living our lives so as to make each day count. He reminds us that times of mourning, even more than times of feasting, can teach us much about life. That’s because in times of feasting, people often lose sight of their need for God, but in times of sorrow and mourning, they seek after Him, longing for His comfort. It is in these times of mourning that we learn more about who God really is. I like the significance some have attached to the dash between a person’s date of birth and date of death. That one little symbol summarizes the whole of one’s life. Solomon says, in essence, “Live every day in consideration of the dash. Make your life count.” As Christians, we must consider that our opportunities for serving God are limited in one sense and unlimited in another; that is, we have limitless opportunities for a limited time only. Verse 4 of Ecclesiastes 7 says that the heart of a fool is in the house of mirth. Mirth speaks of festivals, or “partying” might be the way to understand it in our day. The implication is that the one who lives in constant pursuit of pleasure will not leave much of a legacy. The day of that person’s death will not be much to remember. But for those who live each day to make it count for God’s kingdom, the day of death will be better than the day of birth. In other words, the dash on their tombstones will symbolize much more than just pleasure-seeking and partying.

We have limitless opportunities for a limited time only. Make today count for God’s kingdom!

Excerpt from “Body Builders” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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