The bible gives you permission to enjoy your life – did you know that?
God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment – 1 Timothy 6:17
7 So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! 8 Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!
9 Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. 10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave,[a] there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom. – Ecc 9:1-12 NLT
These words are not mine. I have taken them from Bible.org Living While You Live (Ecclesiastes 9:1-12)
Solomon urges us to make the most of our lives because time and chance can overtake us.
In 9:7-10, Solomon unveils five imperatives that advocate living life to the fullest
- “enjoy,” and
These five imperatives are located in the central part of this chapter and are recorded there to present the central thrust of the chapter: life is short; death is certain; so live in the most meaningful way that you can.
Party while you can (9:7-8)
In 9:7 Solomon writes, “Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.” Solomon says, “Party on down with family and friends, for life is short and then you die.” Throughout the Scriptures, wine and bread are frequently representative of that which God gives us to comfort and cheer us. Even today they are symbols of the joy of the Lord and His goodness and blessing. Thus, we are to enjoy God’s good gifts and celebrate life with others. So slow down and enjoy a meal with your family and friends. The reason Solomon gives is that “God has already approved your works.” This means such enjoyment is God’s will for us.
This encouraging word does not contradict the fact that we are the stewards of all God entrusts to us. However, it should help us realize that it is not sinful to take pleasure in what God has given us — even luxuries. We need to balance gratefulness and generosity, retaining some things and giving away others. This balance is not easy, but it is important.
Solomon continues in 9:8 by saying, “Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.”
In the Old Testament, births, weddings, and harvest festivals were special occasions and required one to dress up and be fresh. In Solomon’s day, black clothes and ashes on the head were a sign of mourning. Conversely, white clothes and oil on the head were a sign of rejoicing. “Oil on your head” is the ancient equivalent of deodorant and perfume and cologne, so do yourself and others a favor and use it.
Solomon tells us to dress every day as if we’re on the way to a celebration of life. Some would say, “What do I have to rejoice about? I could die any time.” Exactly! That’s a great reason to let every waking moment be a celebration of God’s gift of life. Get dressed. Eat out with a friend. Why? Because you can and because God enjoys your enjoyment. Therefore, “have a blast while you last.”
Enjoy your spouse while you can (9:9)
Solomon writes, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.” Solomon had many honeys and many honeymoons—to the demise of his kingdom. He treated himself to hundreds of wives and concubines. Now, at the end of his life, he wishes he had lavished all his love on the wife of his youth. A man who had a thousand women now speaks in the singular rather than the plural. One partner, one heart.
Husbands, love your wife with every fiber of your being, for this may be your last day on earth. Listen to her, talk with her, spend time with her, make love to her no matter how many times she resists, tell her she is beautiful.
Wives, we know this works both ways. Are you easy to enjoy? I will tell you that if you want your husband to enjoy you, be easy to enjoy. If you want your husband to desire your company, make your company pleasant to be around. You might say, “This is hard, she needs to show me first” or “He needs to demonstrate leadership.” But guess what…you’re going to die! What are you waiting for? Don’t waste your time; enjoy your life. Enjoy it now! Have a blast while you last.
Do your work while you can (9:10)
Solomon writes, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” The word “hand” suggests ability, “find” suggests opportunity, and “might” suggests intensity. Solomon wants us to know that we have only one life to make our contribution, “for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” The Hebrew word Sheol refers to the abode of the dead. Solomon is saying: When death overtakes us, our time to plan, be active, and execute wisdom will have come to a screeching halt. Sheol kills earthly work! That is why we must work while we can.