Wisdom Verses Folly


A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time. 

~Ecclesiastes 7:4, NLT


The way of wisdom is narrow and even painful at times, but it leads to a far greater joy than sensual mirth.


Ecclesiastes 7 in one of those many passages where I need all the help I can get in understanding its meaning. At first reading, one would think that Solomon is being morbid; who is their right mind would rather attend a funeral than a party? Those who are more gifted than I have enabled me to see something deeper. Solomon’s concern is with those who treat serious matters lightly; those who trivialize the sacred; those who for instance make jokes about hell. A wise person should understand, hell is not a joke. Solomon’s point is simple: we need to give serious thought to matters of great importance and death is one of those matters. He uses the greater-than aphorisms to stress the importance of serious matters.

  •  A good reputation is better than costly perfume.
  • The day you die is better than the day you are born. 
  • Spending time at funerals is better than spending time at parties. 
  • Sorrow is better than laughter.
  •  Constructive criticism is better than foolish flattery. 
  •  Finishing is better than starting.
  • Patience is better than pride. 
A good name is the reflection of good character and lives beyond the grave. Perfume is an external adornment that last for a very short time. No one can praise a man at his birth but he may be highly praised at his COLS. At parties, we laugh, joke and talk about trivial things like sports. We do very little serious contemplation at parties but at funerals we are forced to think about sober realities like death and judgement. Funerals are wake up calls. Sorrow is a great teacher and its first lesson is humility. Laughter and mirth teach very little. Reminds me of a little poem:
I walked a mile with Mirth, she joked and giggled all the way,
But I was none the wiser for what she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow, never a word spoke she;
But O the things that I did learn with Sorrow walked with me.
OK, so I changed a word or two in the first line but you get the point. Levity is a great stress reliever but not a very good teacher. There is nothing essentially evil about perfume, parties or praise. Laughter is not evil in and of itself; actually, it is very healthy and can even be holy. But it is foolishness on our part to trivialize everything. I like humor and I try to be funny myself but there are times when humor is very inappropriate. I must tell you as if you didn’t already know, I do not enjoy the company of people who make a joke of everything. Some things are just not funny: hell, abortion, child abuse and drugs to mention a few. This does not mean that we are to wear a frown; we do not want to err on the side of gravity or solemnity. Jesus was no wet blanket. He was a happy cheerful soul. We are to be lights that attract and we can’t attract with a long face. Solomon’s warning is to those who make a joke of everything.
  • I’ve been knowing Scott Dawson for 25 years or so. He did two area-wide crusades in Hartselle some years ago. For many years, he was known as a youth evangelist and most of his crusades were geared toward youth. Our grand daughters loved him. If Lexi brags on you, you are good. I was impressed with his presentation last night. He has my support.
  • Plus, DBC had a good crowd, not a good offering, but a good crowd and a great service. Scott told Joe David last night that he would come back to DBC and preach win or lose. It would be great to have a governor who could preach like Scott, amen.
  • Our attendance was down a bit at Grace Point and we didn’t have great preaching or an extended service but we Praise God for what we did have. I love those people.
  • We spent a lot of time yesterday in the deacon’s meeting praying for the sick and we have them: Sabrina Millwood is critical, my cousin Karen is still critical with slight improvement. We’ve also been praying for Marla Marshall. Shirley Bibb is also at UAB. Brandon said she was to get a room today, she has been in ICU. Mark Brown is in a Tuscaloosa hospital. We also have one at GP battling cancer, Shirley Hornbuckle. It seems like I am forgetting someone but as you see, we have a long list.
  • Cosby found guilty and this time the race card was not played. A much different result than with O.J. Simpson. I’d say O.J. was guilty of sexual abuse, wouldn’t you. Everyone has their take on the contrast between the two trials but mine is not being discussed. In this politically correct culture where the ‘feminazis’ rule, sexual harassment in the greatest of all sins. My question is where were the feminazis when Clinton was in office. I do not condone what Cosby did and he should do time but I don’t condone the killing of innocent babies either. Cosby, like Rick Patino, could have killed a baby and gotten away with it but he violated political correctness and no even the infamous race card could save him.

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