Vanity: 79 times in the KJV Bible, of which three are in the New Testament.
We will be looking mostly at Ecclesiastes.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: Vanity, n. [L. vanitas, from vanus, vain.]
- Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity
- Fruitless desire or endeavor.
- Trifling labor that produces no good.
- Emptiness; untruth
- Empty pleasure; vain pursuit; idle show; unsubstantial enjoyment.
- Ostentation; arrogance.
- Inflation of mind upon slight grounds; empty pride, inspired by an overweening conceit of one’s personal attainments or decorations.
There are 12 Chapters in Ecclesiastes
11 out of 12 contain the word vanity.
It’s interesting that Chapter 10 doesn’t have it. Especially since the whole book speaks so much on it. It does include the word folly. Another term I see in conjunction with vanity is vexation of spirit. Vex meaning to irritate; to make angry by little provocations.
I first started to understand vanity in the year 2000. It was soon after being diagnosed with a mental illness. It felt like I needed to avoid being vain at all costs. One of the things I did was cover mirrors in my apartment.
That time in my life played an essential truth in my mind. As the years wore on, I didn’t’ pay heed to outside pressure. It felt like society at large wanted me to give more care to vanity, but because of what I went through earlier I had my convictions.
These days, when it comes time for me to color my hair, try to put makeup on, it unsettles me.
Vanity is more than looking in the mirror. It is all around us. Not becoming a pawn to it is very freeing:
-No need to keep up with the Jones’s.
-No need to collect things that moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (Mat 6:19)
-No need for endless genealogies and who’s who are far as my ancestors go.
There is only stillness and need for God.
Endless wants and fruitless vain desires are vanity.
I find it interesting that even while “grossly psychotic,” I can learn such a lesson. How can one- who is so “out there” make any sense?”
It is God who made the sense for me. What I went through was allowed to happen to me. Those experiences with schizophrenia and “delusions” caused me to think, “How might God be trying to reach others?”
So many doctors, in my opinion, hold vanity close when they assume to understand the mind.
It is vanity when one believes a worldly “ take” on things. Many are trying to tell us now, “your mother/father was an alcoholic, so you will also.”
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (To me, that means overcoming worldly thoughts and definitions IS possible with God)
Much knowledge these days is puffed up and vain in its thinking, debase and wrong in its presumptions, full of folly and self-glory.
In Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Can I speak of vanity and its loathing to me, yet still have love?
Yes, I love.
Wrong can’t be re-defined as good without repercussions.
To God, only good will ever be righteous.
To say there is no God, no sense of rhyme or reason is vanity. For the Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Psalm 19:1
Does vanity cloud your mind?
Do you believe that God is the ultimate definer of right or wrong?