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As you spend time with family, go to parades or barbeque by the pool you might be wondering what Labor Day has to do with Christianity. The purpose of the secular holiday was to celebrate the working class, and all they had done to make America great through social and economic achievements.
The first Monday of every September, American workers celebrate Labor Day. In 1887 states across the country started to pass laws recognizing the holiday and by June 28, 1894 the United States Congress passed an act making Labor Day a national legal holiday.
On the Department of Labor's website they say, "American labor has raised the nation's standard of living and contributed to the greatest production the world has ever known and the labor movement has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideas of economic and political democracy."
Through the labor movement, child labor laws, livable wages and safe working conditions have been passed.
As followers of Jesus who have been bought and paid for through the cross we no longer have to work or strive to gain God's approval. We are counted righteous through our faith in Jesus. There is something to be said about working hard and giving glory to God through what we put our hands to.
What does the Bible have to say about work?
- Colossians 3:23 says, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for me."
- Proverbs 14:23 says, "In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty."
- Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established."
Looking back throughout history there are many men and women whose faith in God led them to do wondrous works for the Kingdom of Heaven. Benjamin Franklin took his daily prayer out of Proverbs 8, earnestly asking God for wisdom throughout the day and even attributed that to his success.
Franklin was self-taught and used by God to shape the country. Here is a list of just some of his accomplishments:
- Noted 18th century scientist
- Founded the first U.S. hospital
- Started the first insurance company
- Printer and publisher in Colonial America
- Took eight trips across the Atlantic charting and measuring the Gulf Stream
- Started a society to abolish slavery
What a wonderful thing to know that as God's children it is His greatest desire to use us to change the world. We don't work for God because we are pressured to but we work hard to represent the character of Jesus as vessels of the Holy Spirit.
Whether you're an artist, student, mom, teacher, businessman, writer or mathematician you have talents that can be used to glorify God here on earth. Let the world know followers of Jesus by their love, hard work, dedication and consistency in the workplace.
On this Labor Day, American Christians can rest in the finished work of the cross that not only do we get to celebrate the work that has been done in American history but the finished work of the cross that gives us eternal salvation.
Shelby Lindsay is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.
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