Ecclesiastes 3: Cast Away and Gather; Embrace and Refrain

Monday, February 29. 2018

"A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together: a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:5 KJV
Seasons in life require us to have the discernment to know what to do in a situation. When we hear someone's advice, should we cast it away all together, or just take it with a grain of salt? Or should we embrace it entirely or just add it to our pool of knowledge?

In earlier times, buildings and walls were often made with stones and bricks. So if you were gathering them together, you were probably planning on building something; but if you were casting them away, you were probably destroying something.

Casting away and refraining from embracing have the same kind of idea but one is a little less... how shall we say it... forceful? Because the idea of refraining from embracing sounds more passive; kind of like "don't do it", while casting away requires action on our part to not just "not do it" but to also throw it far away from ourselves.

Sometimes we have to "cast away" certain sins, attitudes, and actions that we know are ungodly. But other times, we just need to "refrain from embracing" the things of the world - they may not be in and of themselves sinful, but they distract us from living a holy life.

"Gather together" and "embrace" have the same kind of similarities; only the opposite way. "Gather together" has the idea of compiling something together into one place, while embracing is more like totally accepting something or someone.

It's good to gather information, and there is a time for that, but we also need to be embracing what we learn in our Christian walk. There are so many people (I've been guilty of it) who have all this head knowledge about the Bible (which is great!) but they don't actually apply it and embrace it in their lives.

Remember, there is a time for both.

There are times to cast away things and other times to merely refrain from embracing them. And there are times to gather things (or people) together and other times to embrace them.

Do we have the discernment to know when to do which?
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." ~ James 1:5 KJV

Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash


  1. Ahh, this is such a good reminder and encouragement. Thank you, Ashley. <3

    1. I'm happy you thought so Jane! Thanks for stopping by <3


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