Why work? This short question brings lots of answers to one’s mind. Why in the world wouldn’t one work? Writing about work is a tender topic while watching workers of all ages, gender, and rank lose jobs and unemployment rates rise in our nation. Still, we anticipate Labor Day, a holiday set aside to honor those who work.
Working is Biblical. Reading 2 Thessalonians 3 10-13 Paul reminds the people of what they were commanded to do when he was with them. He tells them again, which shows the importance of the topic. “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this. If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear there are some walking around among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.”
Our work allows us to demonstrate integrity. Working ensures that we have the means to provide for our families and others in need. Providing for needs should not be misunderstood with supplying wants and desires. Many people are working themselves into their graves by living beyond their means. Often, there is little time away from one’s jobs to spend quality time with the Father- our Provider, and family-those we provide for. The greatest job we have is staying in tune - closely connected to the Lord and loved ones. Spending time with Him and them…priceless!
We work to connect with non believers. Working provides joy when we embrace cheerful giving as doers of His Word. Grumbling and gripping about our work and serving the Lord won’t win many souls or gain favor in God’s eyes. He loves to see us working like the little ants who understand the power of unity. They toil through tough conditions in order to provide. Recognizing their weaknesses, they work together, building bridges with their bodies connected and following the order of command until the job at hand is done. Their frailty and small size may fool some, but their accomplishments and aggressiveness prove the power of working in unison. They are strong and stick together. Their lessons of loyalty and looking out for one another should inspire us to do the same.
Christians are empowered to do great things through Christ when we stand strong in faith and stay connected to the Vine. When believers work together to glorify God, a great crop of new believers come into the fold. Jesus taught this work ethic through example. He went into the world to harvest believers and save those who did not understand the meaning of living water and the love of a Father who sent His Son to die for our sins. Jesus worked hard, yet honored rest and took time to refuel.
His teachings inspire us to connect with people out of our comfort zone, to take Christ to the unsaved, to reach out and share His love and good news wherever He leads. Are you working for Jesus with a joyful heart or a whinny tune that is not music to His ears? Jesus sees our work; He knows our hearts, seeing our motives and motions in all that we do. When working for Jesus, He keeps us singing as we go. Whatever work we do should be done with a motive to glorify God.
We work to live out His calling on our lives. What is your calling? Are you working to please God or man? As we journey through life, our calling becomes clearer when we walk and talk with Jesus along the way. Our work allows us to experience His power in the midst of daily challenges.
It is God’s mandate for every believer to work in the place where we can best express the nature of God in everyday life. God doesn’t expect us to go overboard, causing chaos with a super Christian, aggressive nature at our workplace. Jesus didn’t do that. He worked as a carpenter, listening and learning from his father and excelling at his work. When the time came for him to teach, preach, and perform miracles, He continued listening to His heavenly Father and doing His best at what He was called to do. Jesus shared the good news wherever He went without casting stones or calling attention to Himself. He was comfortable witnessing to a woman at the well who shared the good news to glorify God or Pharisees who despised the Son who came to die for their sins. Jesus’ example teaches the importance of working and living out the calling on our lives, while practicing forgiveness and pressing forward in faith. Enjoying the journey is a precious gift one receives when living in tune with the Great I Am.
Why work? We work and enjoy seeing the fruit of our labor. May this Labor Day holiday provide time for you to enjoy time away from your work. Even Jesus looked forward to getting away from the crowds and spending time alone with His Father. While working is important, it should never consume one. We are wise workers when we spend time with Jesus before, during, and after work. In other words, He is always on our minds and in our hearts. Enjoying life and working ‘till Jesus comes – that’s the good stuff. May you experience God in a precious and personal way this Labor Day.