A good name is better than perfume on your day of death… and it’s better to go to a funeral than a birthday party. These are just some of the uplifting nuggets of wisdom the author of Ecclesiastes offers us. What does this mean? And how can we make it to our own funeral with a good name, when the Preacher of Ecclesiastes admits in the same chapter that no one on earth is righteous because we’ve all left God to search “many schemes” to make a name for ourselves?
James continues with a clear distinction between trials and temptations, knowing that when life gets hard is when we are most often lured away and tempted. How do we fight this temptation? How do we examine our own desires and find a better answer to them? Is the Christian life a continual suppression of our desires, much like stoicism? Or do we just give in to desires because we have grace in Christ? The book of James shows us there is a third way, a better way, a righteous way that fills our desires far more than any other thing can.
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