The purpose of Labor Day involves paying tribute to those who contribute to the social and economic success of a nation. The day also serves to honor the fundamental dignity of all workers.
For many people, labor (work) exists as a necessary evil and a means to an end. We work for money. Yet, the perspective God mean for us to have of work goes so far beyond this basic view of work.
The history and development of labor around the world actually involves Christianity to a great extent. (For more on that topic, check out the article In Celebration of Labor by Chuck Colson.) Let’s do a scripture study of work to help us not only understand this involvement, but also to help us see how God wants us to view work.
What Does the Bible Say About Work?
- Hard work helps supply basic needs. (Proverbs 28:19)
- All work should be done as though for God. (Ephesians 6:5-9)
- Our work for God is never wasted. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
- Hard work is honored by God. (Genesis 31:38-42)
- Hard work brings rewards. (Proverbs 12:14)
- We should use our skills, which are from God, to honor God. (Exodus 36:1)
Not only do these scriptures help us see the heart of God regarding work, but they also can change our attitudes about the work He gives us to do. And as our attitudes change to bring our hearts into alignment with His, the positive impact of our lives as a ministry increases.
Hopefully, knowing that God’s view of work goes well beyond simply a way for our basic needs to be met will transform our approach to work. So what stands in your way of not just viewing work as God view it but also living out what He intended for us in our work?
A Personal Challenge for Labor Day
Consider taking some time this Labor Day to consider how you can apply these scripture to your work. The following questions will help you in this personal challenge.
- Are you working only to obtain what is temporary, or does what you work for also hold eternal value?
- Are you being faithful where God has placed you, even if the terrain is rough and rocky?
- What are your goals and priorities regarding work?
- How is your time management (stewardship of your time) with regard to work?
- Are you following godly principles when it comes to how you handle work responsibilities? Your coworkers? Your employer? Your choice of occupation?
- What goals can you set regarding your work and career?
- How does your work ethic and attitude reflect to non-Christians how God views work? How are you representing Him?
DISCUSSION: What changes can you make in how you view and approach labor/work?