How is Vanity Affecting our lives

“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taken under the sun?”(King James) Ecclesiastes 1-3 (NLT) Ecclesiastes 1-4 “These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem. EVERYTHING IS MEANINGLESS. “Everything is meaningless, “says the Teacher, “utterly meaningless!”


3 What do people get for all their work? 4 Generations come and go, but nothing really changes.”
Ecc. 1:8-18 “8 Everything is so weary and tiresome! No matter how much we see, WE ARE NEVER SATISFIED. No matter how much we hear, WE ARE NEVER CONTENT. 9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 What can you point to that is new? How do you know it didn’t already exist long ago? 11 We don’t remember what happened in those former times. And in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now. 12 I, the Teacher, was the King of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem. 13 I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done in the world. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race. 14 Everything under the sun is meaningless, like chasing the wind. 15 What is wrong cannot be righted. What is missing cannot be recovered. 16 I said to myself, “Look I am wiser that any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them. 17 So I worked hard to distinguish wisdom from foolishness. But now I realize that even this was like chasing the wind. 18 For the greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.”
Definition of Vanity:1. something that is vain, empty, or useless. 2.the quaily or fact of being useless or futile: FUTILITY 3.undue PRIDE in oneself or one’s appearance: CONCEIT.
Vanity=useless=futile=pride
(King James) Ecclesiastes 1-3
I began thinking about this vanity. We all heard it and possibly have said statements such as: “take pride in your work” or “proud to be an American” Pride(vanity) is why God kicked Satan and his angels out of Heaven. Satan idolized himself, thinking he was better than God. Self worship is dangerous territory. Satan knows if God kicked him out of Heaven for Vanity, we will never have a chance to get into Heaven unless we humble ourselves. Let’s think about it, we even watch American Idol. Are we not contributing to their vanity? Would we rather have someone tell us how nice we look or awful we look. Do we like when others praise us? Who are we tring to impress, God or people. Are we prideful people or humbled people? If we are prideful, how can we make ourselves more humbled? According to Ecclesiastes, this is not new. It has happened for generations. Pride’s end result is destruction. If we love ourselves more than anything else, others may have a difficult time fulfilling our requirements on how to love us back. This can lead to disappointment and frustration. We may even say comments such as: Well, I deserve more than that! Proverbs 13:10 “Pride leads to conflict; those who take advise are wise.” We can not be prideful and wise. 2 Chor 26:16 “But when he became powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall…” Pride led to his downfall. God will not tolerate pride(vanity). He didn’t tolerate when Satan was an angel in Heaven and he certainly will not tolerate it with His people. So how can we stop the insanity of vanity?

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “How is Vanity Affecting our lives

  1. “So how can we stop the insanity of vanity?” Wendy, I think you touched on being humble, in the blog? I looked the definition of humble up: “having or showing a consciousness of one’s shortcomings; modest. lowly; unpretentious”. (humbled,humbling- to lower in condition or rank; abase. to lower in pride; make modest.”) I know all you teachers can help me here, and agree that vanity would certainly be an antonym for humble. I think God is clear on His instruction on avoiding pride and vanity. Read with me James 4: 10 ” Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” Listen to the footnotes for verses 7-10 ” How can you come close to God? James gives five ways: 1) Humble yourselves before God. Yield to his authority and will, commit your life to him and his control, and be willing to follow him. 2) Resist the devil. Don’t allow Satan to entice and tempt you. 3) Wash your hands…and purify your hearts. Be cleansed from sin, replacing your desire to sin with your desire to experience God’s purity. 4) Let there be sorrow and deep grief for your sins. Don’t be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for what you have done. 5) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. Bowing in humility before the Lord means recognizing that our worth comes from God alone. To be humble involves leaning on his power and his guidance, and not going our own independent way. Although we do not deserve God’s favor, he wants to lift us up and give us worth and dignity, despite our human shortcomings.”

    Lord, please forgive me. I know that any good in me, comes from You. Please help me to lean on Your power and guidance, for all of life circumstances. I do not deserve Your favor, but thank you for humbling Yourself to become flesh, so that I might have the opportunity, to be free from the bondage of vanity, and all of my sinful nature.

  2. Vain and Vanity is most often used in the Bible entirely with the idea of emptiness, fruitlessness, or worthlessness.

    Needles, in order to be fruitful and produce we have to do as you have suggested, humble ourselves and resist the devil. When we lie to ourselves or others we are completely useless, empty and worthless as God sees it.
    Psalm 4:2:” you sons of men, how long will you turn my honor and glory into shame? How long will you love vanity and futility and seek after lies? Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

  3. Paul tells us in Romans 12, “to make a decisive dedication of ourselves to God presenting the members and faculties of our earthly bodies as a living sacrifice to Him which is our reasonable service.” That is to humble ourselves before the Lord God. And here is an excellent tip…”do not be conformed to this world thinking and following its lifestyles
    but BE TRANSFORMED by the complete and total renewing of the mind.”
    And here is somewhat of what CF was preaching about…..”I warn everyone among you NOT TO ESTIMATE and THINK of oneself more highly than one ought….that is have an exaggerated opinion of of one’s own importance but to rate one’s ability with sober judgment according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to each of us.
    Sometimes I think that the term “low self-esteem” really is a condition where one thinks he/she should be given much more “esteem” than they really merit and therefore are disillusioned and depression sets in. Low self-esteem may be…and I repeat ‘May Be’, vanity gone awry!

  4. Chickenfarmer, you asked how to stop the insanity of vanity? Sara explained to us that vanity is a ‘fruitlessness life.’ And Jesus gave us the answer in the Parable of the fruitless fig tree…
    Passage Luke 13:6-9:
    Parable of the Barren Fig Tree Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’
    “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”

  5. I worked with a lady once who was tempted but walked away. She rode the bus in everyday to the city. The bus driver was showing her attention and she decided that was not good for her or her marriage. She immediately knew it was wrong although she liked the attention and changed buses. She took the thought captive and said I’m not going that way. Praise God!

  6. That fig tree reminds me of the expression ‘all show and no go’. Lots of showy leaves giving the false impression that it is an alive and well fig tree…but no true validating its identity by the production of fruit. It was living a lie, a deception. But it couldn’t deceive Jesus…He spoke to it and it withered away.
    Living a lie of vanity can lead to insanity. Look at Saul. He wouldn’t humble himself in order to obey the Lord …he rejected God;’s counsel (rebellion is as the sin of withcraft I Sam 15:23) and that invited a ‘troubling spirit’ to torment him mentally and he became afraid of the righteousness of David.
    Looks like the lady Rena worked with turned the temptation that appealed to her vanity to fruit when she chose to obey and walk away. That kind of love for God gave her the power to do right and not doubt led to a healthy mind…”for God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind’ (I Tim 1:7).
    Chickenfarmer this vanity is not worth insanity.

  7. Rena, the lady you have spoken of sounds like the Proverbs 31 lady. She sure did not want the insanity of vanity. Proverbs 3 speaks of wisdom and her benefits. Example, do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. And, happy is the one who finds wisdom. Proverbs 1, My child, if sinners entice you, do not consent. We are given so many great ways and instructions to bring peace, joy and hope in our lives.

  8. That’s true, Sara. The lady in Rena’s true account did not give in to vanity of the flesh. Sometimes we think we deserve that physical or material “attention” to the flesh. It sparks our vanity and feels good to the flesh. But the way of it is death. Solomon wrote a lot about this. We THINK we feel good about it but vanity is its own definer. Vanity is in VAIN. Vain is for nothing; for naught. It is “baseless, futile, HOPELESS, and ineffective.” (Roget’s) It withers us away like the fig tree. To paraphrase Sara’s quote…”departing from the evil of lustful desires and temptations will bring HEALTH to our flesh and bones” not cheap thrills that wither the body and soul and eventually the spirit.

  9. My thoughts on this…when one is in the ‘insanity of vanity’, term we are using in this blog….they usually deny it. Self-justification is the key that unlocks beauty, happiness, fulfillment, joy, peace, or so the insanity tells us. But, it seems to me it unlocks the door of lust and one walks right in. Wisdom says run and lust entices one in. Vanity usually doesn’t show its true colors until one is in.

    But, Solomon addresses this issue for us in great detail in Ecclesiates. And, if that doesn’t do it for us read Proverbs and eat the chips it provides.

    I think Vanity looks bigger than it is. And, it may be a hole in the ocean but God is bigger and He says run from it and when you do you are in the arms of safety which is the arms of Jesus.

    Vanity is null and void when you see figs on the fig tree. Our gifts are to produce fruit in and for the Body of Christ not for the body of lust. The fruit from lust will rot and have no value in the Kingdom of God. So don’t play with sin by watching TV and Movies that promote this. Don’t Listen to music that rocks you into hell. Don’t hang around talking and sitting in the counsel of ones that live this. You don’t need to go to hell to learn about hell. Get up and get rid of this so called insanity of vanity and take the righteousness of Jesus Christ which you received when you accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. And, if you haven’t accepted Him, please do. Find a church and enjoy the fellowship of other believers. There is nothing more rewarding on earth than being a part of the Family of God, even with all our flaws.

    Hebrews 3:12,13 “BEWARE, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But, exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” And, vs. 14-15, tells us that partaking of Christ requires a continuance in faith, not merely a one time experience.

    If you are helping others by not speaking up, by not running from their sin as well as yours, it looks to me that you have a evil heart of unbelief and it has been hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Exhort one another daily certainly does not mean sitting around sinning with them. I don’t see where we have Mom’s and Dad’s running around making things right for us in heaven when we have sinned and are sinning, nope no way, it was and it still is “the blood of Jesus” that makes things right. So, I think we should just dump our self importance of vanity for our beloved ones that we are helping to sin and keeping them from the Holy Wonderful God that is bigger than a hole in the ocean.

  10. Chickenfarmer in speaking about vanity you point out above: “Ecc. 1:8-18 “8 Everything is so weary and tiresome! No matter how much we see, WE ARE NEVER SATISFIED. No matter how much we hear, WE ARE NEVER CONTENT”.
    Being discontent and unthankful, murmuring and complaining is futile and God warns us not to open the door for that to root in our hearts and minds. That doesn’t glorify Him and it is not humbling ourselves and it will lead us down dangerous roads.
    Romans 1:21 talks about vanity this way: “…because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.”

  11. Sara, I read your comment after I posted mine above but you really hit the nail on the head about lust.
    It made me think about Israel rebelling against God’s will for them, and complaining about no meat in the wilderness. Then they craved or lusted for it and that resulted in them receiving a plague. (Num 11). Now that was a door that opened to them through their self-justification that led to a no-exit dark room. They and we all should heed Needles advice about humbling ourselves…”To be humble involves leaning on his power and his guidance, and not going our own independent way. “

  12. Another thought about the INSNITY OF VANITY. If we have had seasons in our lives…usually pre-Christian, but not always, or even childhood episodes of wrong thinking, mental, physical or emotional abuse, even when we are mature and in Christ Jesus, the nature of these “sins” can be the ones that come back to beset us…as Paul says, “the sins that so easlity beset us.” Sometimes they return in a veiled fashion; disguised as “self-fulfillment, emotional gratification, longing desires quenched; For even satan can appear as an angel of light. We say, “it can’t be wrong cuz it FEELS so right” But therein we are deceived. We say, ” I deserve this experience of self-fulfillment.” We DO deserve experiences of sefl-fulfillment….BUT NOT THIS ONE! The ones the Lord has for us are true self-fulfillment and holy gratification . If we will persevere and remain vigilant and discern the BODY OF CHRIST we will not fall into these traps of human emotion, vanity of vanities and hopelessness. For after putting the hand to the plow and then we are looking back in lust….there is no hope for us.

  13. True Sara, wisdom says run…and we must run into the arms of Jesus who is standing there waiting for us….He is the complete….the ultimate ….He is the fulfilment of all we hope for, dream for, want, desire, imagine and search for and dont even realise it until like the lady Rena spoke about we run and close that door then one will see the true Door and thats Jesus who has said I AM The Door, The Gate, The Way…..and all who enter therein will find rest for their souls, beauty for their ashes, and the oil of joy for their mourning and a garment of praise for their spirits of heaviness so that they may be trees of rightiouness…and their fruit will remain………( Matt. 11;28, …Is 61;3…John 10;7,9)…….dj

  14. Vanity is surely a tough issue. It seems sometimes we don’t even recognize that vanity is our problem. I guess that is how Satan gets us. For example, in relationships sometimes this comes into play. One spouse thinks they deserve something because they have endured the emotional up and downs inflicted by the other one or the lack of support or doing they feel is required of the relationship. Instead of handling the situation they manipulate it with cutting words. The person waste enormous amounts of time burying hurt in their soul while lashing out with no positive or constructive outcome. Why? Their vanity doesn’t see the right door to freedom of the cycle that besets them. Their conversation, mind set, actions do not line up with what God would have us say or do.

  15. True! Sometimes the other spouse has no clue as to what he or she is doing to disconcern the partner. And in many cases VANITY won’t allow the “injured” or supposedly injured party to speak forth and deal truthfully with the situation. And many times VANITY won’t allow the other to admit and face the truth. Each partner feels justified in his/her attitude and as Rena states, with no positive outcome but friction and hard feelings.

  16. God talks a lot about business in the Bible…buying, selling, profits, losses, etc. And from reading all the above comments it looks like investing time and energy in vanity won’t show any profit in our portfolios. Sin pays a dividend but maybe not one we traded for…”The payment (or wages)for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is one way vanity affects our lives.

  17. Vanity does not make anyone happy, it controls your life if you are forever worried about what you look like. People should like you for your personality, not what you look like….this is how bullying starts in schools, kids want to be pretty inorder to be popular and fit in.

  18. Alicia, I so much agree with you. But, your thoughts provoked a though in my mind of amusement. If we like another for their looks, we would be a rubber ball in our likes because no matter how hard one tries our looks are changing daily.

    Being a Mother and watching my children grow made me realized I liked and loved them as an infants, teenagers and now adults. Their looks sure changed but the charming wonderful people they are have not changed. A good thought, thanks.

  19. This morning while reading Genesis 41 the Pharaoh said, “I dreamed a dream,
    Nobody can interpret it. but I’ve heard that just by hearing a dream you can interpret it.” I was very impressed with Joseph’s reply – “Not I, but God. God will set Pharaoh’s mind at ease.” Vanity – No – just dependence on God. He didn’t promote himself but God then promoted him to be in charge of the country to store up supplies in the plentiful years in order to go through the lean years. Joseph leaned upon God.

  20. Yes I would agree that vanity does not make anyone happy. I wonder after hearing a prophecy in our church about America if that is why we are slipping in rank as a nation. Vanity among leaders and people who step over the line to obtain material wealth and prestige. They did it there way and their way came crashing down for them and America. For example, all the foreclosures whether it be overextending or banking errors. There may be many more examples of vanity which have adversely effected our nation. Many are being called to task. We read or hear everyday of someone else who is being called forth to be judged for their role. There may be a lot of other examples which are not so publicized or evident. Vanity oh vanity thy sting destroys. May as the prophecy said that as God digs around the U.S. one more time that the intercessors begin to pray for our purpose and focus as a nation. Lord we lift up America to you. Lord we ask for forgiveness for vanity issues that have beset us. Lord we ask that you might revive us and that we might focus again on you and turn from our sinful ways. We would pray that you would show us your purpose and focus for us as a nation. We thank you for the prophet who is the trumpet on the wall to sound the alarm. Lord may intercessors from near and far join us in praying for America.

  21. Alicia, I see what you have written about every day among school children Those who do not “measure up” whatever that means, to their classmates young, undeveloped hearts…are excluded….an age-old problem, to be sure, suffered by many children and older, also.
    Our school system has identified this as “discrimination and exclusion & bullying” because of color, race, national origin, gender, regional accent and in the case of adults, marital status and age, and deemed it unlawful. And we teachers are to address this in the classroom, teach, model and exemplify tolerance in these particular issues.
    God is no Respector of persons and Jesus died for all….no matter who, where from and when.
    Sara wrote a song a whle ago that says succinctly….
    LET THEM ALL COME TO ME
    LET THEM COME, LET THEM COME
    AS I OPEN THE DOOR TO MY THRONE
    LET THEM COME, LET THEM COME
    OH, LET THEM NOT BE FOUND WITHOUT OIL
    OH, LET THEM NOT BE FOUND WITH GUILE
    LET THEM ALL COME TO ME
    LET THEM COME, LET THEM COME
    ___sara mullennex 1991 (c)
    AMEN, SARA

  22. I also add my voice with the prayers for America. I have been singing ‘America,America, God shed His grace on thee…”‘ as a prayer. Integrity and self-control are some of the virtues much needed in America today and expressed so well in these lines of the song:
    “America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw;
    Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law! “

  23. “Set your minds and keep them set on what is above, the higher things, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).

    Our Faith is seeing what God sees and choosing God’s way, even when things look dark in the nations and all around us.

    Heavenly Father, we chose Your way for our Nation and your way for each of us to live according to Your plan for our Nation. You have given us much wealth as well as the wealth you have given many nations. For when we pull our resources together as Your family there is more than enough to supply. But, we so often pull all possible resources unto ourselves. Greed seems like a gift from you the way we embrace it and enjoy it while closing our eyes and heart to Faith. That is our faith seeing what You O Lord see. For you see as Isaiah 58:6- records,
    “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke. Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide
    the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked,
    to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh
    and blood?

    8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your
    healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness
    will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your
    rear guard.

    9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you
    will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do
    away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger
    and malicious talk,

  24. “If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, pray , seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.”___2Chron. 7:14
    “My people”…that is those of us who claim the living God as our Saviour and King and Lord….for we are His children, called by His Name and He is our Father. The Lord God is addressing us…the ‘sons’.
    He is asking us to humble ourselves…..give up our fleshly, material searching and acquiring….turn from our wicked ways….that is greed, and lust and selfishness, taking on the characteristics of the physical world instead of the Heavenly one. If we will seek Him as we seek after our daily bread…seek His face, His counsel, His direction, His wisdom….then…..will He forgive our lawlessness and heal this wounded and agonizing, groaning world….and bring suffering humanity into His Kingdom. But we must understand the stipulations that He has set before us. It is up to us. He will do it, if we will do it.
    It’s our responsibility

  25. ‘…Embracing the gift of greed’ as Sara writes seems like embracing a time bomb. EPH 5:5 ‘For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in
    the kingdom of Christ and of God.’
    Self cries give me! Feed me! (money, power, prestige, your time, your attention, etc, etc.) But thinking/putting God and others first will bring so much more contentment. ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain.’ (I Tim 6:6).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s