“Three Truths About Labor”
Many people will have the luxury of a day off tomorrow as the United States will celebrate Labor Day, a national holiday that dates back to the late 19th century. As with virtually all things, there's a great deal that Christians can think about, learn from, and improve on in respect to the topic of labor. Working hard and being diligent in our efforts are basic Biblical themes and the inspired writers certainly had much to say on the subjects. In particular, Solomon wrote about labor in the book of Proverbs and in doing so, helps us understand, among other things, three timeless truths that we'll do well to remember.
1 -- Honest Work is ALWAYS better than Dishonest Gain...
In Proverbs 13:11, the wise man wrote, "Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase." Unfortunately, the world has its fair share of selfish, dishonest people who don't care about honesty and fairness. Given this, it's easy for us to grow discouraged and furthermore, it provides Satan with an opening if we're not careful. Hard work is, well, hard. But, there is something to be said for the satisfaction that comes from a job well done and reaping the pay that comes from working so hard (see Psalm 128:2). As saints, we are to lead by example. Therefore, let us always labor with purpose, work hard, and never be dishonest.
2 -- Active Work is Better Than Active Talk!
Solomon wrote, "In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty" (Proverbs 14:23). Let's face it -- there are certain people who do an awful lot of talking and bossing around but don't do that much doing! Not only is that irritating to everyone else, it sets a bad, anti-biblical example that we, as members of the Lord's church, must not be party to. In any local church, there is always something to be done or someone needing help. Christians should seek opportunities to do good for others and not merely talk about it.
3 -- Spiritual Work Produces Great Results
The most important work that you and I will ever do is not in our workplace, on the factory-line, or something for which we receive a paycheck. Instead, working in the Lord's kingdom is more important than anything else and more rewarding than anything else. In Proverbs 10:16, the writer says, "The labor of the righteous leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin." That says it all! As Christians, we should wear ourselves out doing good and find more ways to serve Christ and others. And let's be honest with ourselves -- the more we do that, the better we feel! That's not a coincidence but rather the way God created us. If there are ways for us to improve in our labors for Christ, perhaps the celebration of "Labor Day" is an appropriate reminder for us to repent, seek forgiveness, and move forward to better serve our God.