New Revised Standard Version:
Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters
English Standard Version:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
Christian Standard Bible Version:
Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people
New International Version:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters
I thought today I would write in reference to the holiday we are celebrating, Labor Day.
The idea of Labor Day was born out of the labor movement of the late 1800’s. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday September 5, 1882 in New York City and it finally became a national holiday on June 28, 1894. That’s when Congress passed an act making the first Monday of September a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the US territories. By that time 32 of the 42 states were already celebrating Labor Day.
Enough of the history lesson.
Labor, individual labor or work, hard work is at the very core of us as human beings. Our work ethics and habits define who we are and what we become. It’s not luck as some would have you believe, especially those whose work habits are more working at avoiding work then doing work.
Work can make us happy and satisfied or work can leave us miserable and wanting. Not just materially but spiritually. But this want and lack of wellbeing is not due to the work itself, it’s our approach to the work.
If we are stuck in a dead end and miserable job who do we blame? Maybe we blame the boss, maybe we blame the company, and maybe we blame the government. But really the blames lies in ourselves.
We have allowed ourselves to become stuck, trapped, oppressed in our labor and we, ourselves, are the only ones who can get us out of it. Most of our oppression is of our own doing, our mindset.
“Oh, I slave away for somebody else, so they can be rich. Well then I’ll just do enough to get by and keep this mediocre job with my mediocre salary and bitch and moan all day long about how unfair life is and how I’m so brilliant and I deserve better but the man is keeping me down.”
You and only you have the power to change and it starts with your attitude.
This is what Paul was telling the Colossians and us in Chapter 3 Verse 23. It’s all about your attitude.
Paul says: “…work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…”
And where does the Lord reside?
In your heart!
So work as if you are working for yourself, because that is who you are working for. You are working to improve yourself, to learn about yourself, to help yourself become a better and more righteous person.
If your attitude is you are working for your master then you have become their slave.
Through the hard, honest and righteous work, no matter how menial, you will improve mentally and physically. Your self-worth will improve and then your position will improve.
But the magic word through all of this is WORK. Hard work and honesty with yourself.
“…work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” (Yourself)
Through this you will see the meaning of King Solomon’s word in Ecclesiastes 3:12-13:
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.