Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor -- a God-given purpose

Resting from your labor is a wonderful thing to do ... provided you have any labor to rest from.

There are people out there who believe resting on a daily basis is preferable to working, but I beg to differ with that train of thought. Of course, it's easy for me to say because I love what I do.

Yesterday, our minister, Bob Hartman, preached on the value of labor. He read from Genesis, illustrating how God created man to work. Or rather, to create. Do you recall what the first job was? To name the creatures. I wonder how long that took! God called upon Adam to exercise his brain ... to not be idle. As I'm studying Proverbs right now, I see idleness as a common theme. Inevitably, it leads to trouble.

Bob went on to read the parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25:14-30. It's pretty clear that when God provides us with something, we are to do something with it. Fair enough. And who among us is without a talent or two? Yes, I know, the talents referred to in the Scripture are monetary, but the passage can refer to Spiritual gifts and talents as well.

To sum up what Bob had to say, which I am in total agreement with, God created us to work, to be creative, to use the gifts He's given us. For months now, I've been writing about resting on my Sabbath Experiment/Experience posts. I've pointed out Scriptures supporting my claim that God calls us to rest. However, there would be no need for a Sabbath rest each week, if the previous six days were not spent working and creating in one way or another.

This is the reason I have problems with endlessly providing generation after generation with a means to live without requiring anything of them in return. As Bob stated, we are simply condemning them to being less than what God created them to be, which, in reality, is doing them a great injustice. We were meant to work. It was God's intention that we all contribute, in whatever way possible, to society. Do you get that?

Being idle leads to frustration, bitterness and low self-worth. In the midst of communities where the government has perpetuated this trend of something-for-nothing, we are seeing drug and alcohol abuse, as well as an escalation of violence, as is evidenced by the nightly news. People need to feel worth before they can project worth onto another life. Where there is no worth, there are few boundaries.

So, on this Labor Day, in the midst of economic turmoil and disturbing unemployment rates, my prayer for those of you who are blessed with jobs, is that you will be thankful for the work you have. For those who are desperately seeking work and are concerned about your future, my prayer is that God will provide and meet your needs. And for those caught up in the government-created web of idleness, I pray that you will tap into your God-given talents and break the cycle.

And now, I am going to join my husband for a day of resting from our occupations. Wishing you a pleasant Labor Day,


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