Do Not Say ...

by Frank Jones


Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?" for it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. (Ecc 7:10)

"Verse 10 is even more crushing, as befits an answer to nostalgia, which is an enervating and self-indulgent mood. To sigh for ‘the good old days’ is (we may reflect) doubly unrealistic: a substitute not only for action but for proper thought, since it almost invariably overlooks the evils that took a different form or vexed a different section of society in other times. (Kidner, The Message of Ecclesiastes, 67)

It has been said that “the good old days” are the combination of a bad memory and a good imagination, and often this is true. … The Victorian essayist Hilaire Belloc wrote, “While you are dreaming of the future or regretting the past, the present, which is all you have, slips from you and is gone.” (Wiersbe, Be Satisfied, 88)