You might think you’re already an expert on wrecking your life, but over the next five weeks, we’re going to help you take it to the next level!  We’ll be examining five excellent ways to totally ruin your life!

For some, this series will serve as a precautionary tale, but for most of us, it will be about how we can travel the road to recovery.  Throughout this series, we’ll draw on the journal of the wisest man ever to live: King Solomon.


Introduction

God wants everyone to enjoy life.  He gives us boundaries not to stop us from having fun, but so that we can live life to the fullest.  However, when we ignore those boundaries and pursue pleasure our own way, we often find ourselves spiraling downward.

  • What are some things that you have learned the hard way?

 

What happened to Solomon?

Have a volunteer read Ecclesiastes 12:11-14

At the end of Ecclesiastes Solomon gives us a glimpse into something he learned the hard way.  He wraps up his journal by warning readers that there's consequence to not following God.  He urges people not to follow in his footsteps but rather to follow God’s path.

In 1 Kings 2-3 we learn that Solomon was the fortunate son of King David and Bathsheba.  When he took over his father’s kingdom, God asked what He could do for Solomon. Solomon requested wisdom to better govern and rule the people (2 Chronicles 1).

  • If God offered to answer one prayer, what would you ask Him?

If I just...

God was pleased that Solomon did not ask for money or fame, so he not only granted Solomon’s request for wisdom, God made him wealthy and famous as well.  Solomon shared his wisdom with the world in the books of Song of Songs and Proverbs.

The unfortunate reality is that sometimes it’s easier to give advice than follow it.  Solomon failed to make wise decisions in his own life, deciding to pursue pleasure rather than pursue God.

Have a volunteer read Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 and 2:1.

Solomon uses the word meaningless 38 times in Ecclesiastes.  As he reflects on his life, he realizes that all of the time and energy and effort he spent on pursuing pleasure was futile.

We’re all tempted to think that if we were able to finally get something that we really want, our lives would be so much better.

  • What “If I just…” tempts you?  If I were just married, my life would be complete. If I just made a little more money, I wouldn’t be so stressed.  If I just had a house... If I just had a better job…  If I just had kids…  If my kids would just move out…  If… If… If...


All of Life’s Pleasures

Have volunteers read 1 Kings 11:1-4 and Ecclesiastes 2:2-11.

Solomon tried it all.  He spent years trying sex and alcohol and laughter and houses and business and music, but ultimately, none of it satisfied. None of it filled the void that he felt inside.  He realized that all of that effort for all of those years was meaningless.

  • If you could go back in time and teach your 20 year old self one lesson, what would it be?


Application

The truth is that the only thing that will satisfy is a relationship with Jesus.  God created us to have a relationship with Him.  When humankind sinned, we broke that relationship, leaving us empty and unfulfilled, but God reached out, sending Jesus to restore that broken relationship and fill the void that exists inside each of us.

Some of us have not yet decided to follow Jesus and allow Him to restore that broken relationship.  Others of us have made that decision, but even still we all to some degree rely on pleasure to satisfy us.

  • What is one practical thing you can do this week to begin rooting your happiness more in a relationship with God and less in pleasure?