Billy Graham: On Labor Day, Look at Your Work From God's Perspective

The Rev. Billy Graham
Evangelist Billy Graham speaks at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 31, 2007. |

The Rev. Billy Graham believes that the upcoming Labor Day holiday should be a time when Americans not only celebrate their work, but see that work from God's perspective.

In an advice column published Thursday, the notable evangelist was asked a question regarding the nature of their job, specifically their issue with the job being boring.

"After college, I ended up taking what I thought was a temporary job, and five years later I'm still in it. Why hasn't God given me something exciting, instead of a job I don't really care about?" inquired the person.

Graham responded that Christians should view the Labor Day holiday as being a time to see what their occupations are from the perspective of God.

"Labor Day, I believe, should also be a time when we ask God to help us see our work from His point of view. Let's be honest; work isn't always exciting, and when we focus only on its problems or spend our time wishing we were doing something else, we'll probably end up resentful, angry or bored," wrote Graham.

"But when we begin to see our work from God's point of view, our attitude will be much different. We'll begin to realize that God gave our work to us, and because of this it has dignity and importance."

Graham went on to point out that even notable figures from the Bible spent much of their lives working occupations that seemed mundane.

"For most of His life, Jesus worked with His hands as a carpenter; the Apostle Paul was a tentmaker," continued Graham.

"From the very beginning of the human race, even before sin entered the world, the Bible says, 'The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it,' (Genesis 2:15)."

Graham's comments come days before the United States observes Labor Day, which takes place every year on the first Monday of September.

The holiday has its origins in the 19th century, with the rise of organized labor and the growing influence of unions in the U.S. and elsewhere.

According to the Department of Labor, the observance initially began on the local government level, then to the states, and then became a federal holiday.

"The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887," noted the Labor Department.

"During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories."

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