The Good Old Days (6/20)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Ecclesiastes 7-12.

Do not say, ‘Why is it that the former days were better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

It is not uncommon to hear people speak fondly of the “good old days.” But there is a difference between reminiscing of days gone by and making unfair comparisons between the present and the past. The former is acceptable. The latter is “not from wisdom.”

The problem with this type of thinking is that it is an indication that one is dwelling too much on the past. Paul said we must let go of the past so we can reach forward to heaven. “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). We are not to allow our past, even the fond memories of the past, hinder us in doing what we need to do in service to God today.

As the wise man stated earlier in this book, “That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The reality is that every stage in our lives will have their good times and bad times. Solomon warns us against deceiving ourselves into thinking the “former days” were wholly good and the present is full of trouble. Circumstances certainly change, but there is both good and bad in every time if we will only look for it.

This thinking is dangerous because it allows us to ignore the blessings God is currently giving to us. We may be facing troublesome and difficult times, but God is still full of mercy toward us. Let us not allow our fond memories of the past to make us blind to the blessings God is currently providing and the rewards He has promised for the future.

Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Kings 10-11; 2 Chronicles 9

[I’m using the Chronological reading plan on the Bible Gateway website if you’d like to follow along, too.]

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