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Background Considerations

What do people mean when they say that one rotten apple ruins the whole barrel? Since ancient times, people have come to realize the power of influence.

The author of Ecclesiastes states that “one sinner destroys much good” (9:18). He continues by adding the words found in the beginning of chapter 10 where it says: “As dead flies gives perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.”

The main topic for our discussion today is the power of influence that each of us exercises on the persons who surround us.

Relevant Biblical Passages

  1. Ecclesiastes 10:5-9. What are some of the mistakes that a person of great influence can make?
    Explain the proverbs from verses 8 and 9. Can you think of any example that illustrates them?
  2. Ecclesiastes 10:12-14. In what way do our words exercise an influence on those around us? How is an unwise person betrayed by his words?
    Is it wise to pretend to know what is going to happen in the future?
  3. Ecclesiastes 10:16-18. How do these verses present the importance of good leadership? Verse 18 reminds of some sayings from Proverbs. Do you remember some of them?

Lessons for Life

Chapter 10 of Ecclesiastes reminds of our responsibility in regard to the influence that our words and actions have on those who surround us. Someone once said: “Be careful how you live! You may be the only Bible some people will ever get chance to read.”

In Romans 14:7 it is written that “none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.”

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