Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson.
1. Is your work satisfying and does it provide meaning to you?
2. Do you enjoy your life and find daily fulfillment?
Read Ecclesiastes 2:24-26.
1. The word meaning “toil” or “labor” is amalin Hebrew and Solomon used some form of it 22 times in this book. In verse 24, he spoke of satisfying work whereas in an earlier verse (22), he talked about work being an anxious striving. Talk about the way you view your work and labor. What needs to change for you to be satisfied?
2 What are the benefits of pleasing God? Discuss how these blessings tie in to finding fulfillment and relishing the life and opportunities you’ve been given.
3. Read Proverbs 21:25. A more modern translation for “sluggard” might be “slacker.” Do you know someone like this, someone who refuses to work and be productive? How could you motivate such a person?
4. Paul wrote about productivity and labor in Ephesians 4:28. In what ways do people who could work, but don’t, steal from the common resources and hurt those in need?
5. Psalm 90:17 was written by Moses, a man who labored long and hard for the Lord. Consider his words and talk about how this encouraging prayer could help you and others today.
6. What you think + what you say = what you produce. Thinking about this statement, what intentions and thoughts occupy your mind? How do they affect the way you speak? How do they correlate to your productivity? Read Proverbs 12:14 and discuss.
Read Ecclesiastes 3:12-14.
7. Here Solomon echoed earlier statements about the importance of being happy, doing good, and enjoying our work. Why would Solomon, the wealthiest, wisest man in history, say this twice? Discuss how this sage advice can change your attitude as you are going about your activities this week.
Conclude your group time with prayer, using the following as a guide. Oh, Lord, establish the work of our hands! Direct and guide us in the work you have before us to bring joy and meaning to our lives and to enrich and enhance the lives of those around us. May our joy be so attractive and evident to others that they can’t help but ask the reason for it! Amen.