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Summary: Developing the right life skills and social skills can make our lives so much richer, our friendships deeper, and our level of happiness higher.

Two Flies in the Ointment

(Ecclesiastes 10:10-15 (quickview) )

Note: This is the second part of my sermon titled, "A Fly in the Ointment" also posted on Sermon Central.

INTRO

1. Talk about a rude awakening.

The Reuters news service told a story about a man in January of 2004 who "woke with a jolt in the parking lot next to his home" early one morning when a stolen car crashed into his small house, pushing his bed through the front wall. The criminal who stold the car turned too widely and crashed into the house sending the man, sleeping in his bed outside. He actually woke up outside.

Could you imagine that? Sleeping soundly, hearing a bang, and then finding yourself outside? That’s a rude awakening indeed!

2. People often have figurative rude awakenings in life.

3. One such rude awakening is the realization that we are getting older, putting on weight, growing up, or not as capable as we think; another common rude awakening is that we lack some social of life skills. Often this does not hit us until we are adults.

4. As we look at Ecclesiastes, please note that I am looking for the principle behind these verses, and then taking the principle and expanding it and applying it. If you think I am getting my entire sermon from Ecclesiastes, you are wrong; just the principles.

PROP: Developing the right life skills and social skills can make our lives so much richer, our friendships deeper, and our level of happiness higher.

TS------------- God wants us to enjoy being human, and so he offers us verbal pictures of what these life skills look like.

Last week, I covered the following 4 Life or Social Skills

I. Consideration of Others (2-3)

II. Relational Savvy (4)

III. Choosing Companions Carefully (5-7)

IV. Safety-Mindedness (8-9)

As we look at these life skills and social skills, we need to target areas in which we are weak….but, if we are rearing children, we have to make a conscious effort to train our youngsters in these skills…

Now this week, I would like to cover several more.

Developing the right life skills and social skills can make our lives so much richer, our friendships deeper, and our level of happiness higher.

V. Taking Care of Our Things (10)

!. The fly in the ointment: trashing and neglecting our possessions….

2. Here in Ecclesiastes we see an Ax that has not been properly maintained…

(1) result: it takes more skill and effort to chop down the lumber

(2) taking care of our possessions is therefore related to efficiency and

effectiveness….the right tools, rightly maintained….

(3) we need to teach our children to take care of their possessions (and those of others) from childhood on…

3. One big difference between middle or upper middle classed people and lower classed revolves around this very ethic….

4. I was raised in an area that sort of border-lined the two….people who were more middle-classed kept their houses painted, their lawns mowed, their trash area clean; lower middle-classed people let their homes or apartments fall into disrepair and did not maintain things….

5. On the one hand, God does not want us to get caught up in the things of this world; on the other hand, He wants us to appreciate our blessings and not hold them in contempt…


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