One Handful or Two?

Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Ecclesiastes is full of very simple truths.  This simple truth tells us that it is better to just have one handful with quietness than it is to have two handfuls with “travail and vexation of spirit.”  It is better to have something on the inside than it is to have something on the outside.  It is better to have a little and have peace than it is to have a lot and have all kinds of problems.

How often do we get greedy of gain and forfeit our peace of mind for it?  It is our nature to always want more and more.  It is our nature to never be satisfied with what we have.  Greed is ingrained in our flesh and is the close cousin of pride. 

We have all read the stories of the richest men in the world who have killed themselves or gone into depression.  Rich and famous movie and music stars often have serious problems with drug use and depression.  Those in the world wonder how this could be- these people have “everything.”  They have money and they have fame.  But, as the old saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness.” 

Those who know the Lord and know the Bible know the answer to this riddle: how can these rich and famous people not be happy?  They have “both the hands full.”  They have everything the world says that they need.  But they are not satisfied.  While they may have “both the hands full”, they also have travail and vexation of spirit.  They don’t know peace.

We may not have everything that we think we want, but if we have the “peace that passes all understanding”, we have something that most people in this world will never know.

A handful with quietness really is better than both hands full with vexation of spirit.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Ben, This reminds me of the song Satisfied Mind originally by Porter Wagner but also recorded by Johnny Cash. The first verse says:

    How many times have you heard some one say,
    If I had his money I could do things my way?
    But little they know that it’s so hard to find,
    one rich man in ten with a satisfied mind.

    It is so true that money without the peace of God cannot make one happy or content. It is only Jesus who can truly give us a satisfied mind. Peace, Linda


  2. Love Linda’s song comments! 🙂 And , Ben, I thank you so much for the reminder of how blessed I am.! Even if we are empty handed, we are never empty with Jesus! 🙂


    • It’s kind of like the fact that we are never alone with Him. It may seem like it sometimes, but He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. We are never empty with Him. It may seem like we’re poor, but, in reality, we are “children of the King.”


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