How does one actually live life backward?
The idea is that you take the one thing in your future that is certain – death – and you let that reality inform everything about your life now. In other words, to live life backward is to live with the end in mind. While that may sound like a morbid approach to living, the Bible reveals that it’s the only way anyone can begin to live life joyfully.
As David Gibson states,
Living in light of your death will help you to live wisely and freely and generously. It will give you a big heart and open hands, and enable you to relish all the small things of life in deeply profound ways.
To go along with our sermon series on Ecclesiastes, we’re pleased to recommend Living Life Backward, by David Gibson. This book draws on the wisdom of Ecclesiastes to help you embrace a radical countercultural mindset by allowing the reality of eternity to dictate your priorities, goals, desires, and decisions.
In many ways, the book of Ecclesiastes prevents us from expecting too much from this world. We can learn to pursue earthly joys for what they are rather than what we think we need them to be to make us happy. In fact, the message of Ecclesiastes is that, in this fallen world where everything seems so elusive, you can only truly enjoy what you do not have to have. So it’s not that earthly joys are worthless, it’s that they are not ultimate. When you stop living this life as if it must satisfy, you actually find it more satisfying.The message of Ecclesiastes is not that earthly joys are worthless, it's that they are not ultimate. Click To Tweet
Life is short, and one day in God’s providence, it will come to an end. So embrace life for what it is rather than what you’d like it to be. Live life before God with reverence and obedience – this is the pathway to joy, even though there is great mystery and pain.
While the book is not a complete exposition of Ecclesiastes, you will find it a helpful study companion for our sermons series this Spring. As of today, the best price for this book is at ChristianBook.com.