Happy Labor Day!
Sadly, Labor Day marks the end of summer, unless of course you are fortunate enough to live in parts of California, Florida, Arizona or Texas. In St. Louis the last hoorah in the road racing season is an event called the Gateway Cup. It is a four day, four different venue criterium race around the St. Louis area. By this late in the season you better be on your “A” game if you plan to race.
But back to my point “Labor Day”, why do we celebrate “labor”. Some people hate to do it. Some love to do it. Some go to great lengths to avoid doing it. Some do it too much. While there are many different attitudes towards work, one thing remains constant: work must be done. Since the Garden of Eden everyone has worked or depended on someone else’s work for their survival. Work sets a person’s lifestyle – where you live, when you sleep and eat, the time with family, time you get to spend on your bike and even sometimes how you dress.
Another constant about work is the fact that God has a clear perspective on it, and we should align our thoughts with His. As you reflect on your own attitude towards work, consider the following principles that outline God’s view of labor:
1) Work is ordained by God. It was His creative invention from the beginning. The Bible declares that God worked (Genesis 1). Like God, you have the ability to work, make plans, implement them, and be creative. Additionally, God gave us the task of ruling over and taking care of His creation (Gen. Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:15).
2) Work is for a lifetime. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground (Genesis 3:19). God intends that humans are to work as long as they live. Meaningful activity plays a critical role in being a human being – whether paid or volunteer. The magical age of 65 shouldn’t end meaningful, purposeful work.
3) Work is not a punishment. God did not create work as drudgery, but as a gift of fulfillment to life. A human being can do nothing better than…find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25)?
4) Work has three purposes: to provide money or resources to supply the necessities of life; to provide for a quality of life in the satisfaction of doing a job well; and to serve God.
5) Work calls for obedience. Even when the boss isn’t looking, a good worker is consistent and diligent to the task and loyal to the company (Colossians 3:22). The real boss is Jesus Christ. See your job as service to Him.
6) Work should be done with excellence. You are to render service, as to the Lord, and not to men (Ephesians 6:6-7); not to be men-pleasers but God-pleasers.
7) Work is honorable. All professions and all kinds of work, assuming they are legal and biblically ethical, are honorable before the Lord. All work brings glory to God and fulfillment to you, if it is done to God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
8) Work provides an opportunity for witness. Just like when you wear you team kit at races or rides you manifest a powerful message, both verbal and nonverbal, when you work for God’s glory. The world today needs this powerful witness to the reality of Christ and the difference that He makes in us all. (Matthew 5:16)
Work (labor) has a completely different meaning when it’s done for the honor and glory of God.
Ride often, wear your jersey always and be bold in your faith!!
(Portions of this article were borrowed from James Eckman “Labor Day: 8 Biblical Principles of Work)