We humans have such a (sin induced) fixation on the idea that if we just do some things and not other things, then we will achieve nirvana, zen, shalom, happiness, or whatever it is that we think we want. The Pharisees did it – long tassels, washing hands in just the right way, only so many steps on Saturday – BOOM! God’s happy with me.
Paul shows us why this kind of thinking and living doesn’t work in Colossians 2:23 – “These [human laws meant to make us righteous] have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” In other words, you might look holy-than-thou, but your just as prideful and self-centered as the next guy.
So what is Solomon’s wisdom here? There is a time for everything. Sometimes you fast, sometimes you feast. Sometimes you are solemn and serious, other times your joyful and light-hearted. Sometimes you hug the sinner, other times you oppose them. The place of wisdom is in knowing when is the right time for each.
Lord, keep me from seeking to please you by my own keeping of self-righteous standards. Thank you that it is by grace and not by works that salvation is given. Help me know the time and season for all things and live in a way that honors you. Amen.