When I was growing up, there was one thing that I knew at an early age, and that was you were expected to work hard. No one took it easy, at least very often. I was surrounded by hard workers, and I was expected to do the same. There’s something to be said about a job well done, and it feels great to finish. I wonder about those who don’t work hard. Solomon has a word for those; “foolish.”
In Ecclesiastes 10, Solomon gives us a few words of wisdom (of course) for parents, as well as those in leadership positions. He says that the foolish are easy to spot, and that they can ruin a lot of things that the wise have worked hard to accomplish.
In verses 1-3, he says,
1 As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink,
so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor.
2 A wise person chooses the right road;
a fool takes the wrong one.
3 You can identify fools
just by the way they walk down the street!
At first thought, I wondered if it was rue that the foolish wwere so easy spot. I think, at times, it is. Of course, if you watch the news you see it nightly. But then there are those times that your spirit tells you, warns you, that you are around or dealing with someone who is foolish. I pray that I don’t have to deal with that when my daughter one day introduces me to her boyfriend!
On the leadership side, certainly there are times that we have to deal with those who are less motivated than we want them to be. In verse 15, Solomon puts it this way,
“Fools are so exhausted by a little work
that they can’t even find their way home.”
Again, I go back to my childhood. I was raised knowing what hard work was, and I honestly believe that is a rarity in today’s society. There aren’t many I have found that come into the “real world” with an understanding of how to work. That falls on us parents.
There’s something to be said about experience and qualifications. Too many people believe God is just going to give them the six-figure income and corner office, for no other reason than being themselves! As leaders, we need to make sure that we are choosing and making wise decisions on those we put into leadership positions. As parents, we need to choose wisely when it comes to rewarding our children.
Solomon actually admonishes those things he had witnessed up to that point. In verse 5-6, he says
There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistake 6 when they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth.”
See exactly how Solomon describes this? He says it’s “evil.” He says it’s a “grave mistake” when the wrong people are in the wrong places. It’s a mistake to just put people or reward people with position, status, or any other form of award without merit. This is much different from blessing someone who has a need in their life. What Solomon is referring to here is that “good old boy” network, or illegal kickbacks and preferences.
We have a lot to consider! Solomon has definitely challenged us as parents, leaders, managers, or wherever we are in life. If it’s dealing with coworkers, employees, or our kids, he has given us some words to teach.