By Debbie Christopher…Last year (2021), for our Labor Day blog, I shared about working enthusiastically (Col. 3:23). Earlier this year, during our 2022 Spring Bible study from Life Lessons from Women in the Bible* (by Rhonda Harrington Kelley), our daughter-in-law, Emily, presented a lesson about being a godly example at work. The main focus of her presentation was the importance of portraying a joy-filled life in the workplace.
I immediately knew that this would be the theme of this year’s Labor Day post. So, way back in the Spring, I wrote ‘Emily’s workplace lesson’ on my Blog calendar on my Notes App. At the time, this seemed so far away. However, a couple of weeks ago it dawned on me that I should probably start working on it!
Therefore, this year’s Labor Day theme, posted a week early, is...Working Joyfully.
We know that joy is beneficial for our own ‘sanity’. Many of us may be familiar with all the joy verses we use to encourage ourselves when life gets bumpy...but...have you ever stopped to consider the effect joy has on your testimony at work?
Being joyful in the workplace involves, well, being joyful! It is not a mask we put on when we enter the door of our workplace. The joy we have because of who we are in Christ should exude from us daily. Co-workers can see straight through us…and as our daughter-in-law stated, “People are always watching!”
The author of our Bible study stated the following in her chapter entitled ‘Working Women in the Bible’ , “Having the joy of the Lord in your life can be a great attraction to unbelievers in your workplace.” She demonstrated so clearly, as did our Emily, that if we allow circumstances to destroy our joy, it will also destroy our testimony. Is that not an ‘ouch’ statement?!
Simply put, our testimony means nothing if we are grumpy and grouchy at work. Ouch, again!
How, then do we portray this joy-filled spirit day in and day out? Emily shared in her lesson, “One major way we can accomplish this is to guard ourselves from negativity. We must guard our thoughts as Scripture reminds us throughout Philippians chapter 4.”
When you find it difficult to be joyful at work, remember, you may think you are ‘just’ working at your job, but, you are ultimately serving the Lord...and Psalm 100:2 says to ‘serve the Lord with joy/gladness’.
One final quote from Life Lessons from Women of the Bible...”Be a worker who speaks your faith and lives it.”
Challenge: Take this week to evaluate your joy-grumpy meter. Think about it over the holiday weekend and create a plan—then, take a deep breath and implement your plan when you return to work next week! (Oh, for those of us who don’t ‘work’…let’s implement it at home with our family!)
And, yes, I have another word for Labor Day 2023!
Don’t be grumpy!
*Rhonda Harrington Kelley, Life Lessons from Women in the Bible, NASHVILLE: Lifeway Press, 2015.