Labor and Rest

We take Labor Day off for a good reason…to rest from our work and to be thankful for the gift of our labor, as it contributes meaningfully to the lives of others. No matter our vocation, as believers in Jesus Christ, our work is to be defined and expressed out of our relationship with God, the Scriptures, and prayer.

When we labor, we do so “as unto the Lord” and the integrity of our lives is evidence of our earnest desire to honor and please him in all ways. Our moral compass is defined by God’s Word, not by the ever lapsing moral collapse of the world around us. Therefore, we work hard, we pursue excellence, we exceed expectations of our employers, all as a witness to the joy and gratitude that exists in our hearts. We treat others in the workplace as Jesus would treat them: with grace, mercy, patience, honesty, appreciation and love. This very simply is the Christian way.

When we cease from laboring, we are to rest and reflect on the tremendous gifts that our work provides for us. Beyond a fair wage, we discover that we’re grateful for the opportunity to exercise our personal capabilities in meaningful, life changing ways. We’re renewed in our resting to return once again to our labor with vigor and passion and intentionality. Our work comes alive once more out of our restfulness and rejuvenation.

Combining labor and rest is consistent to the example of the Lord. After his labor of creation, we’re told in the Scriptures that he rested. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done,” Genesis 2:2,3.

On this Labor Day we rest from our daily work. It’s similar to what Sabbath rest is designed to create within us on a weekly, ongoing basis. However, there’s generally more tension than balance in that invitation, for it’s hard for most of us to find genuine rest whatsoever (we’re constantly being pulled in too many conflicting directions). But for this day, the invitation is to cease from what resembles the daily rhythms of work, and instead find rest for body, mind, heart and soul.

A God-blessed Labor Day to you and yours!