In Chapter 6, Solomon talks about the consequences of squandering the gifts of God. These gifts are an opportunity to know God, to see the good, and to steward the existence He has granted us. If we waste this opportunity, we are worse off than the one lost at birth. We will give an account to God for the consequences of our decisions. We find meaning by beginning with an external focus, standing on a foundation bigger than ourselves—namely, the God and Creator of the universe. Attempting to understand existence apart from God is futile.

The mistake we too often make is in trying to understand the mysteries of God at the expense of stewarding what He has called us to steward. Trust and obey, rather than figure out and control, is the call of God to mankind. Our search for comprehensive understanding is frustrated by wide ranging enigmas involving incongruities and reversals in real life situations. If we attempt to gain meaning and purpose beginning with our own understanding, or through material possessions, it leads to madness and frustration. Nevertheless, when we begin with faith, Solomon determines, life can still be profitably experienced through wise living.

Ecclesiastes 6:1-2

There are severe consequences to squandering God’s gifts.

Ecclesiastes 6:3-6

Anyone who wastes the opportunity of God’s blessing is worse off than one who was never born at all.

Ecclesiastes 6:7-9

It is better, more effective, and more fulfilling, to maintain an external focus rather than be controlled by internal desires.

Ecclesiastes 6:10-12

Apart from God, any attempt to explain the meaning of existence is futile.