The Best Way to Labor (But not on Labor Day!)

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 NIV

Spider's Work

A spider’s “work” of art!

The idea of Labor Day first started around 1885. There is some controversy as to who actually proposed the original idea, but the suggestion caught on. Oregon was the first state to recognize a state sanctioned Labor Day. Other states followed the trend, but in 1894 the federal government proclaimed the first Monday in September as a legal holiday called Labor Day.

Labor Day celebrates American workers and their contributions to our great country. And workers get rewarded for their hard work with a day off! Happy Labor Day! Now that you have the history of the holiday…

In Colossians, Paul is giving advice to the church at Colossae. He is discussing relationships within the family and the church. And even though Paul is talking specifically to “bondservants”, I think this verse speaks to anyone who works. And as some workers might attest, sometimes at work we may feel a bit like a bondservant. (Just kidding!)

But instead of complaining or drudging along at our job, we are encouraged to do all our “work” as though we were working for the Lord. It seems a simple enough concept, but a bit harder perhaps in the execution. I love working with kids, I was an elementary and special ed teacher. I went to work each day knowing that I was doing something to help kids and so I felt like I was, to a degree, doing the Lord’s work. But when I am cleaning my house for the thousandth time, it is a little harder to imagine I am working for the Lord.

I have found that it’s not so much the job we are doing as it is our attitude towards the job. I don’t like cleaning (who does?). So when I have to clean, I actually say a praise, prayer to God. I thank Him for my home, my husband, my children and all the wonderful blessings and opportunities He has brought to my life. If I’m cleaning for visitors to our home, I thank God for all the amazing people He has brought into my circle; all the unique friends, the special acquaintances, the mentors, and the encouragers.

This week, after our Labor Day rest of course, let’s approach our jobs with a new attitude. Let’s work at our jobs, whether at an office, a manufacturer, at home, anywhere, as if we were doing it for the Lord, our God. Let’s do our best work. Be the kindest people. Put in that extra effort. Smile.

I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we labor for the Lord!

 

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