We’re continuing our journey Under the Sun as we look at Ecclesiastes and what it says about living lives of meaning and purpose. Ecclesiastes is classified as wisdom literature—Old Testament writings designed to help keep us out of the traps that the enemy sets for us. As we move into Ecclesiastes 10, we see Solomon begin to talk about the importance of wisdom when living a life of purpose.

Read Ecclesiastes 10.1–8.

The Hebrew word for folly that Solomon uses is sikluth, which means to act foolishly, usually in a spiritual or moral sense. Here, folly is a lot more than just being silly; it’s being reckless both morally and spiritually.

We read in Ecclesiastes 7 that a good or honorable name is better than a fine perfume. Here, Solomon is telling us that that same good name can be ruined by even the smallest bit of folly. Proverbs 25.26 tells us that the foolish and wicked are like a polluted well; in other words, even a little bit of folly is enough to damage a person’s character that was once held in high esteem.

In John 10.10, Jesus tell us that the devil is constantly looking to destroy us and get us to fall into pits and traps. What we also need to recognize is that the way he will get us to do this is through compromise and thinking that just “a little bit” of folly wouldn’t hurt anyone. But when it comes to the pollution of sin in our lives, a little bit of folly can go a long way.

We have to be especially vigilant to guard against folly when it comes to the culture and society we’re living in. We’re constantly surrounded by messages, TV shows, movies, and other factors that have “just a little” folly in them. We have to be vigilant to make sure that what we consume and how we act is free from that folly so we can continue walking in God’s wisdom. There are three questions we can ask ourselves as we check that our actions are folly-free.

1. Is this honoring to God?

In Christ, we have incredible freedom. However, this doesn’t excuse us from using our discernment. One great way of keeping folly out of our lives is asking ourselves if our actions are honoring and glorifying to God.

This isn’t about legalism or doing what we “should” do, it’s about truly embracing our freedom in Christ by letting go of the foolish things that used to hold us down. Galatians 5.1 says that, because of our freedom, we can stand firm and no longer be held down by whatever foolishness and sin used to bind us.

Questions: Take stock of your recent actions. Are there any in your recent memory that weren’t honoring to God? How are you still feeling the effects of that folly in your life and walk with God?

2. Am I being entertained by sin?

If we begin to compromise and allow sin or folly into our lives because it’s “entertaining,” we’ll see that we begin to get desensitized to some of the folly in our culture. When this begins to happen, we continue to let the devil have a foothold through these compromises.

Question: What is something that’s “entertaining” for you, but might not be as folly-free as God would want?

3. Does this lure me away from Christ?

If the answer is yes, then we should step away from whatever it is we’re considering, because it’s very possible that we’ll fall into our own traps of compromise.

Read 1 Corinthians 15.33–34.

When we consume the folly of our culture, we’re being lured away from Christ. This means we’re actually consuming pain, disappointment, and spiritual compromise. Just because everybody is doing something doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

In addition to asking questions to help us avoid falling into folly, we also need to recognize how to live a wisdom-filled life.

Read Romans 12.2.

Renewing our minds to be transformed and to see as God sees is paramount to living a life of wisdom instead of folly. The way we see things always determines how we make decisions—it’s an inability to see clearly that leads us into folly and compromise. James 1.5 has a simple solution for us: ask God for the wisdom that we lack and desire.

Question: Have you asked God for wisdom today? If not, take some time to pray and ask God that you would see your life the way He sees it so that you have the wisdom to live a folly-free life.

God wants us to see life—our relationships, marriages, families, careers, finances—the way He sees them because, when we do, we are more inclined to do as He says. This isn’t about blind obedience, it’s about truly embracing and living in the freedom He gave to us through Jesus’ death on the cross.