No matter how long we live here on earth, our life is short compared to eternity. James tells that our lives are vanishing vapors — here today, gone tomorrow (4:14). But while we accept that life is brief — sometimes, even, unpredictable — and death is unavoidable, we are to enjoy life. Every good gift that God has given us is to be enjoyed as long as it lasts (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10). There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the things that life has to offer. There is so much in our lives to appreciate and experience. So, enjoy it all.
Enjoy your meals (v. 7): One is food and drink. The idea is to enjoy every meal that God gives you to eat. Don’t rush through meals because there is comfort, pleasure and joy that comes with the food we eat. Nobody likes to eat alone, right? We treasure those times when we share a meal with family and friends. Enjoy it.
Enjoy every occasion (v. 8): Back in those days, white garments and oil were symbols of purity and joy. Enjoying life doesn’t give us a free pass to live recklessly. Live your life with purity, but enjoy life. Get out your nice clothes from the back of the closet. Do you hair — if you have any. Keep your life pure. But also, money is meant to be spent — responsibly. Don’t go throw yourself into wild debt. But death is certain; why hoard it? Spend money on your family. Enjoy the goodness that life has to offer.
Enjoy your spouse (v. 9): The purpose of marriage is to live life — and enjoy life — together. Now, the writer of Ecclesiastes isn’t all sentimental and unrealistic about marriage. Your life is not going to be without difficulties — so find joy in your marriage. When we encounter tough times, we have someone there by our side to help us and pick us up when we’re down. Additionally, God gives married couples the exciting privilege of sharing everything together — food, money, vacations, families, home. Live happily with the person you love the most.
Enjoy your work (v. 10): Since life is short, do not do things half-heartedly. Do things with all your heart (Col. 3:23). Maximize your time. Maximize your efforts. Because of where we’re all going — the grave — it won’t matter once you’re dead. The possibilities and opportunities to work cease when we’re dead. If we plan to do anything in this world, we better do it to the best of our ability while we still have time.