Solomon cuts to the heart of the matter in today’s reading on what’s drives people to succeed:
Ecc 4:4 Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
The reality here is that we see someone else doing well, or better than we are, it triggers our insecurities and assaults our stubborn pride, when someone shows up with a nicer car, we immediately think that their success is going to make us look bad, so in turn we go out and buy a bigger car, because we have to one up our neighbor.
This is all sinful behavior, we are coveting or wanting to possess something that we don’t have…that’s actually one of the Ten Commandments that we are breaking when we do that, when God tells us back in Exodus you should not covet your neighbors wife, their servant, their house or donkey, we are breaking God’s law when we are envious of those around us.
Solomon noted that the world is driven by envy, just as it is today; and it was like chasing the wind, or pointless, because we work day and night to make money and buy all this stuff, but what good is it in the scope of eternity? We can’t take it with us when we die, our graves, nice cars and clunkers, are still the same size.
So next time we see someone roll in with a new car or the latest gadget, we should remember that the envy that we might feel is actually a violation of one of the Ten Commandments and like Solomon said, it is pointless anyhow! All this stuff expires anyway, but on the bright side, God’s kingdom is eternal…better to obey His Word than our own feelings that will only trip us up in more sin.