Labor Day, celebrated the first Monday of September in the U.S. and Canada, is a holiday to honor the labor movement and contributions workers have made. Other countries celebrate it on the first of May.
As Christians, we can use this day to reflect on work from God’s vantage.
Reflections for Christians in the Workforce: Labor Day Is …
a time to reflect on the provision of having a job and be grateful to God.
That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God. (Eccl. 3:13)
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil – this is a gift of God. (Eccl. 5:18-19)
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deut. 8:10-14)
a time to reflect on the profit of work and understand how the benefits of working outweigh living on welfare when you don’t have to.
Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. (Prov. 10:4)
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. (Prov. 12:11)
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. (Prov. 14:23)
One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. (Prov. 18:9)
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. (Eph. 4:28)
a time to reflect on the purpose in working beyond the paycheck and let it affect your attitudes and motivations in going to work.
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matt. 5:16)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:17)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Col. 3:23)
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)
a time to reflect on the pause from labor and admit your need for renewal.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, … For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Ex. 20:9-11)
a time to reflect on the priorities greater than a job and maintain perspective.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:19-21)
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. (Jn. 6:27)