I think it’s a bit humorous that Labor Day is a vacation day. We celebrate labor by ceasing work.
Today is the 125th anniversary of this national holiday paying tribute to the America worker’s contribution to our country.
The value of a strong work ethic was highlighted centuries ago in the Book of Proverbs, which contrasts the diligent, hardworking man with the lazy, slothful man.
“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (10:4).
“Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor” (12:24).
“The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions” (12:27).
“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (13:4).
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (21:5).
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (22:29 KJV).
The slothful man, also called a sluggard (disgusting word), receives no esteem.
“The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway” (15:19).
“The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work” (21:25).
“The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth” (26:15).
The verse preceding this changed my life. “As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed” (26:14).
I considered myself a night person and habitually hit the snooze button when that annoying alarm sounded. That changed after I had children. Getting up was not optional. I had to tend to their needs and send hubby off to work. Staying up was optional. After the kids started school, I found my comfy bed especially inviting on dark winter mornings and felt no guilt taking a nap first thing. After all, I’d stayed up past midnight doing housework after everyone else went to bed. I read this:
“As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.”
The words hassled me when I’d crawl under the comforter for my early-morning nap. Sleep wouldn’t come. I felt something—Someone—urging me to get up and spend time with the Lord. Making a daily choice to give Bible study and prayer priority ignited the power of Christ and changed me into a “morning person.”
Morning is my favorite time. I refresh myself by spending time in Jesus’ presence and continue my day feeling energized, pursuing diligence in my labor.
Enjoy your day. Diligence deserves a reward!
(Scriptures from NIV unless noted.)
Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.