“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10 NIV) What is unwise about contemplating “the good ole days?” Is there something destructive about thinking back and counting our blessings? Did you note the slight nudge in my question toward a perspective? The nuance is unmasked by taking note of one word in the original question. That word is the word “better.” There are no cautions about counting blessings. The warning is about discounting today in the light of yesterday. Contentment is cultivated!
Depending on how one divides the passages, there are at least 15 appeals to learn contentment found in the 12 chapters. Someone mentioned to me that Solomon seems depressed in Ecclesiastes. My response, “It sure sounds that way. However, I think he is just calling it as he sees it.” I asked, “What part of how he describes the way life works do you think is inaccurate?” After a moment’s consideration, the answer was, “None of it!”
The danger is in thinking the “good ole days” were “better,” is that such thinking undermines contentment with today. Part of cultivating contentment is learning gratitude for all that is good in our past. Of course, specific blessings are more significant than others, but contentment doesn’t compare blessings, it totals them up! Based on that tally, we conclude, “God has been so good to me!”