Ecclesiastes 10:16-20

Ecclesiastes 10:16-20

Have you noticed how many people are all too quick to complain about things not being good enough but they're the last ones to volunteer to do something to help make things better? Have you ever noticed yourself displaying this attitude at times? I certainly spot it in my words sometimes. It's easy to join in complaining, especially about those who have authority over us at work, school, college, uni, or outside these places too. Yet if we really cared about the things we moan about, surely we would be the first to jump in with ideas to change things! Sadly, if we're honest - we're plain lazy. We hate the idea of hard work and enjoy griping whereas we ought to be able to enjoy working hard and hate the idea of griping.

Solomon knows the bottom line is if you want things to change, then you're probably the best person to do something about it. Being lazy won't get things done. In fact, it just makes matters worse and then you've got even more to complain about. It's an endless downward cycle.
Through laziness and idle hands, the rafters sag and the house leaks (v18).

Through laziness and idle hands, the king's rule can be leaky too (v16-17).

Through laziness and idle hands, no questions get answered and nothing gets better (v19-20).

A prayer - Lord please help me not to complain unless I'm prepared to do something about it to help. Please help me to stand out as someone who brings solutions and not problems, hope instead of despair, love instead of hate...

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

(A prayer of St Francis)