Author's Note for Ecclesiastes Study
At this juncture of my study of Ecclesiastes, I am on my 4th paper. Finding the right tone for its presentation has been quite the challenge. I have prayed, read, wrote, dwelled, and contemplated my presentation and words ceaselessly. When I'm not writing, I'm thinking and praying about how to present such a message as Ecclesiastes has. I believe I have come to my final decision regarding the matter and accordingly, I would like to make a few notes.
My third attempt was heavy handed and fiery. It is multiple pages of scriptural references, and double-barreled hardness. The language was provocative and intentionally evoked an emotional response. I do not wish to emotionally manipulate like so many often do. The Holy Spirit does not work through emotional manipulation. I've often heard it said that it's easier to make someone cry than it is to laugh. Such is the way with presenting the message - it's easier to rely on man's method of reaching out through manipulation than relying on God and His Spirit to move men's heart. Man's method only provides a temporary gratification while God's method is eternal and perseveres.
My goal for tone within these coming examinations (as we'll go ahead and call them) is to be like John in his epistles. Gentle and concise but deep, convicting and presented with the love that we need to have for our brethren and the lost. Let us not be arrogant in God's promises. Let us not boast as the world suffers. Let us always be mindful that if it weren't for the grace of God, we'd be no different.
With that, I conclude my opening note. For what it's worth, these words cut both ways. As I write, I find myself convicted. Do not ever feel that you're alone in your personal struggles or growth. We are all striving towards Christ. Do not be disheartened but seek holiness and closeness with God.