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Summary: Labor Day sermon.

Find Lasting Job Satisfaction

John 10:10, Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

September 1, 2002


Tomorrow is Labor Day, a day when we traditionally cease from our labors to enjoy a day off. That is, unless you work in such places as hospitals, restaurants, airlines, Wal-Mart, or any place that people like to go on their day off.

When Deb and I worked for the Navigators in Colorado Springs, we took a class on the importance of work, and we focused on one of the passages we will be looking at today.

I went away from that workshop convinced that God had a purpose not just for me and my work, but for all work that was honest and honorable.

And by the way, I think that if your work is honorable and honest, it is worthy of respect. You might be a white-collar professional in an office pulling in big amounts of money, or you might be the custodian of a building, or maybe even part of the garbage collectors in the city.

Let me tell you something. I appreciate janitors, because I like using clean restrooms. I appreciate the sanitation department of our city, because I don’t want to have to haul my garbage out to the landfill, and I like a clean city. When I’m at a restaurant, I like to eat off clean dishes, so I appreciate the dishwashers.

These are honest and honorable positions. We tend to think of them as beneath most people, but just think about what would happen if any of them decided to go on strike.

As much as I love baseball, I think I could live without seeing another game, but life would be immensely more tough without people who handle things like kitchen work at hospitals and dishwashing and stuff.

But let me quickly say that not all work that is legal is honorable. There are professions that are legal that are not only not honorable, but are immoral. I will let you decide that for yourself in light of the Word of God.

I want to celebrate you who work in blue-collar positions doing things that some people think they’re too good for. I appreciate you.

The main thing I pulled away from that workshop was what I want to share with you today.

I want to show you how you can have lasting job satisfaction. Why is that so important? Because if you don’t like your work, you have a hard time enjoying anything in life.

It’s hard to enjoy your family when your job stinks. It’s hard to enjoy your leisure, because you know that it’s just a matter of time before you’re back to the grind.

So I want to take a serious look at job satisfaction, where it comes from, and how to find it.

In doing that, I want us to look at two main passages of Scripture, and we will look at another one later. But let’s read the two that will provide the focus of our time together today.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, page 474.

ECC 5:18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him--for this is his lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

The next passage I want to look at is John 10:10, page 759.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

How do we find lasting job satisfaction? There are four keys, and the first one is…

I. Realize: It’s good to enjoy life – including work.

How many here have heard the phrase, “If you enjoyed it, it wouldn’t be work?”

The first implication is that jobs aren’t necessarily meant to be enjoyed, they’re meant to be endured.

The second implication is that if you enjoy it, it doesn’t seem like work.

Folks, I have had both types of work. Work that I needed to endure, and work that I enjoyed so much it didn’t seem like work very often.

There’s another saying I’m sure most of you have heard: Life’s hard and then you die.

And as I look around at people, I think more and more people have adopted that viewpoint, especially when it comes to enduring their work.

But God wants so much more for us than that. He wants us to enjoy our work and our lives.

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