Wisdom to Live By

Study Guide

This passage is full of practical wisdom that can give us a better understanding and experience of life. However, Solomon is clear that even this wisdom falls short. The world is broken, and we are all fallen. Thankfully, we can have hope in Jesus, who through his death and resurrection has made a way out of this world if we have faith in him.
  1. It can feel foreign to welcome criticism in a culture that craves affirmation. Why is receiving criticism important to your spiritual growth? How did you react the last time you were criticized? Why?

  2. Because we live in a broken world, we will experience hardship and suffering. In what ways does suffering provide clarity around your relationship with God? Why is it important to worship God in the midst of hardship as well as prosperity?

  3. No amount of human wisdom can resolve the problem of sin—we cannot escape death or the brokenness of this world. How is forgiveness the answer to this problem? Have you experienced the hope of the gospel in your life? How so?

Key Points
  • While some wisdom provided by the teacher solves problems, human wisdom cannot resolve our greatest problem—sin and death.

  • Experiencing sadness and contemplating death have a refining influence in our hearts. They give us perspective and clarity around our decisions.

  • Because we live in a fallen world, we will not always be right. It’s important for us to be able to receive criticism and correction.

  • Growing in patience doesn’t require work; it requires understanding that God is in charge.

  • When we endure suffering and worship God, we get clear that we don’t simply need what God provides—we need him.

  • God created a good world for us, but Adam chose a downward path, and each of us has confirmed his or her own choice to sin. While we cannot escape this path towards death, Jesus came and created a way out of this world if we embrace him through faith.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 7:1-29