Today, we’re going to consider some of the problems Solomon saw with success in business.
(Ecc 4:7) Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. (Ecc 4:8) There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
(Ecc 2:19) And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. (20) Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun. (21) For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
(Ecc 4:4) Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. (5) The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh. (6) Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
Three Potential Problems with Business Success
Solomon mentions three possible problems in the area of work. The first is the workaholic. This person, who is alone, works hard, but isn’t satisfied with his life. Not only that, but he doesn’t ask why he is working so hard. He wears himself out, but he doesn’t really benefit from it.
The next problem is the fact that you can’t take it with you. You work hard all your life, build an empire, and die. You heir might be a lazy fool who squanders and destroys all you’ve spent your life creating.
Finally, Solomon mentions the impact of your success on the people around you. Hard working people are often envied by their lazy neighbors. These lazy folks are unwilling to work, but they are jealous of the rich.
What About You?
- Do you realize that you can’t take it with you?
- Do you know that your heirs may ruin that which you’ve devoted you life to building?
- Do you know that success may bring out the worst in the people around you?