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God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who, like his step-father Joseph, was a carpenter (Mark 6:3).

Although celebrated as early as 1887 in a couple of states, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill in 1894 making Labor Day a national holiday to honor working people. Labor Day is the first Monday in September in the United States. For many people it has become a day of rest and recreation symbolizing of the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season.

Many Americans celebrate Labor Day with parades and parties. On Labor Day, we traditionally take time to recognize the great workforce here in America. From factories to restaurants, from computer support to machine shops, from schoolrooms to gas stations, laborers help make the economy run, and on this day, America honors its workforce.

The Bible likewise frequently commends those who work. For example: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28). Paul certainly did.

Acts 20:34-35:
Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Working is a life-style lesson all young people needed to learn and Proverbs addresses it directly.

Proverbs 13:11:
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

Proverbs 14:23:
In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

Proverbs 12:24:
The hand of the diligent will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.

Proverbs 28:19:
The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.

Paul instructed the Thessalonians on the importance of labor

I Thessalonians 4:10-12:
And indeed ye do it [love one another] toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study [make it your ambition] to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

We are thus commended to have a mindset of work, not laziness, or expecting others to do for us what we can do for ourselves. “To do your own business” means to attend to one’s own concerns, without interfering with the affairs of others (Philippians 2:4; I Timothy 5:13; and I Peter 4:13). “To work with your own hands” is a condemnation of idleness. The word “honestly” is also translated “decently” or “properly.” It carries our modern sense of “honourably” or “creditably.” There is a proper way to walk and it includes working. Perhaps Paul was referring to his own example: “For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you” (I Thessalonians 2:9).

Note that an admonition to continue in “brotherly love” (v. 9) is in the context of our passage. For one who refuses to work becomes a burden to society exhibiting a lack of brotherly love that is a reproach to the community of believers.

Indeed, II Thessalonians 3 even takes a much graver tone.

II Thessalonians 3:10-14:
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not [is not willing to or refuses to] work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Laborers are honored in Scripture, and so is labor. So, let’s walk honestly so we have to give to them that needeth.