ODJ: no regrets

October 20, 2014 

READ: Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 

Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom (v.10).

Take a guess: what do you think are the top five regrets of the dying? A palliative nurse listed her findings in a book. Here they are:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish I’d let myself be happier.

How about you? Based on your current choices and lifestyle, might you have some regrets down the road? What might they be?

In Ecclesiastes 9, King Solomon reminds us that life is short and death is certain. So he encourages us to live in the most meaningful way we can.

Firstly, he said, “Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart” (v.7). Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, food and drink are frequently mentioned as examples of all that God has provided to comfort and cheer us (2:24, 3:13, 5:18, 8:15). So, Solomon encouraged, go and enjoy a meal with your family and friends!

Secondly: “Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!” (9:8). Eugene Peterson paraphrases this verse, “Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colours and scarves.” In other words, don’t dress as if you’re mourning. Don’t look slovenly. Be clean, neat and tidy. Smell nice. Get dressed in celebration of God’s gift of life.

Thirdly: “Live happily with the woman you love” (v.9). Treasure your family and friends. Enjoy life with them.

Fourthly: “Whatever you do, do well” (v.10). Carry out your duties with gusto. Do your work excellently unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23).

In short, don’t let life slip by—delight in God and live with no regrets!

—Poh Fang Chia

365-day plan› Acts 9:1-19

Read Psalm 90:10-17 and then voice it as a prayer to God. 
What changes do you need to make in order to live with no regrets? How do you want to be remembered?